Degamos also involved in illegal activities, former employees claim

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 10) — Former employees of the Degamos in Negros Oriental accused the family of involvement in illegal activities during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Kitty Torres, who previously worked for slain Gov. Roel Degamo, compared the Degamo clan to their political rivals: the Teveses.

"Teveses and Degamos are both warlords. Kilalang kilala ko po sila [I know them well]," she said.

"'Yung sinasabi nila na ang Teveses ay may maraming unexplained wealth kasi galing sa gambling, 'yung mga Degamo marami ring unexplained wealth nang dahil sa kaban ng kapitolyo," Torres added.

[Translation: They say the Teveses have a lot of unexplained wealth from gambling. The Degamos have also amassed unexplained wealth from taxpayers' money.]

Jerome Nalam, a former employee of Degamo's nephew and Siaton Mayor Fritz Diaz, also linked the Degamo family to illegal gambling.

"Boss Mayor Fritz, huwag naman tayong magpakalinis dito [Let's not pretend to be clean here]," said Nalam, who now works for the former governor, Henry Pryde Teves.

Teves' older brother — suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. — has been tagged as the brains behind Gov. Degamo's murder.

The Degamo camp denied the allegations and said they are open to any investigation.

Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee chairman Bato Dela Rosa said there is a need to address the culture of violence in Negros Oriental.

He and his colleagues urged the Commission on Elections to suspend the October barangay polls in Negros Oriental for a month, or place the province under its control. The poll body said it will study the proposal.