DILG implements dismissal order of Negros Oriental gov; vice governor takes oath

June 18, 2016 1:40 am 

By Juancho Gallarde

DUMAGUETE CITY, June 16 (PNA) -– Re-elected Vice Governor Edward Mark Macias has assumed as governor of the province of Negros Oriental by operation of law effective June 17, 2016 following the service of the dismissal order of the Ombudsman by the Department of Interior and Local Government to Gov. Roel Ragay Degamo past 4 p.m. Friday.

DILG Negros Island Region (NIR) OIC regional director Margie Biligan implemented the decision of the Ombudsman to dismiss Degamo from the service even if Degamo has refused to receive the order for the reason that he has not received a copy of the Ombudsman decision.

Biligan was accorded heavy security in serving the Ombudsman order with more than 100 policemen more or less headed by Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial director Sr. Supt Harris Fama amidst hundreds of Degamo’s supporters blocking the main door of the Capitol building.

However, cooler heads prevailed as the DILG regional director was met with Degamo's lawyers namely, Assistant Provincial Administrator Froilan Pinili and Atty. Justo Paras, assisted by Attorneys Nevino Cardente and Atty. Jose Baldado.

DILG provincial director Dennis Quiñones accompanied Biligan.

After posting the order of the Ombudsman for the DILG to implement the order on the walls of the provincial capitol, Biligan went directly to Royal Suites Inn in Bantayan, Dumaguete City where Vice Governor Mark Macias was waiting for his assumption as governor.

Biligan said she was merely bringing the order for Macias to assume as governor.

Macias took his oath as governor past 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon before RTC executive Judge Gerardo Paguio, Jr.

The dismissal of Governor Degamo stemmed from the complaint filed by a certain June Vicente Manuel Gaudan for malversation of public funds and grave misconduct with regard to the use of the P480-million calamity fund in 2012, after the province was badly devastated by typhoon Sendong.

Degamo had refused to step down as governor, saying DILG’s implementation of the Ombudsman order was illegal and highly irregular, as he being the respondent has not received a copy of such order which he said is so unfair.

The governor had earlier said legal remedies have been exhausted in telling the people of Negros Oriental that he is still the governor of the province. Degamo considers the case against him as political harassment by his opponents who cannot accept defeat.

Since Macias has assumed as governor, the vice governor’s position is vacant.

By operation of law, Board Member Liland Estacion would have assumed as vice governor, but the DILG did not have any order for her to assume as vice governor.

In an earlier interview, Estacion said she will not assume as vice governor even for two weeks out of respect to the governor, who is unfairly judged without the benefit of the due process of law.

Lawyer and Dumaguete Mayor-elect Felipe Antonio Remollo had earlier said the order may be executory by its not final, as Degamo, upon receipt of the order is given five days within which to make an answer.

The problem in this case is that Degamo did not receive such order and DILG ignored the pleadings of Degamo’s lawyers not to implement the same.

In his first day in office as assumed-governor Macias said he will issue a memorandum informing all department heads that he is now the governor of the province of Negros Oriental.

Since Degamo will not vacate his office, Macias said he will discharge his duties and functions as governor at his office inside the legislative building.

Initial plans of Macias is to look into the records and the job orders of the provincial capitol.

On June 30, Macias is expected to assume as reelected vice governor and to assume next as governor if the position will still be vacant, while Board Member Mariant Escaño Villegas of the 2nd district is also ready to assume as the vice governor by operation of law. (PNA)

LAP/JFP/JUANCHO GALLARDE

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