Provincial governor, several others shot dead in central Philippines

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A provincial governor in the central Philippines and several other people were shot by unknown gunmen on Saturday in the latest attack against local officials, police said.

Roel Degamo, governor of Negros Oriental province, and “some civilians” were taken to hospital with unspecified injuries following the shooting at Degamo’s home in Pamplona town, a police statement said.

Police said the conditions of the hospitalized victims were unknown.

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Several gunmen entered the property and opened fire as the politician distributed aid to constituents, provincial police spokesman Kym Lopez told AFP.

Degamo, 56, is the latest to be targeted in the Philippines’ long history of attacks on politicians, and is at least the third to be shot since local elections just last year.

The Supreme Court last month declared him the rightful winner of the contest for the Negros Oriental governorship following a recount that unseated his local rival, who had previously been proclaimed the victor.

Lopez, the police spokesman, said they had no suspects at this time.

Mamintal Adiong, governor of the southern province of Lanao del Sur, was shot and wounded in February in an attack that killed his driver and three police escorts.

That same month, the vice-mayor of the northern town of Aparri, Rommel Alameda, and five other people who were traveling with him were shot dead in a highway ambush.

In the bloodiest politically motivated ambush on record, the leaders of a powerful southern clan and about two dozen followers were sentenced to life in prison for a 2009 attack on supporters of a gubernatorial election rival in Maguindanao province.

The attack left 58 people dead, including the politician’s wife and relatives, along with 32 journalists and media workers who were covering the race.

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