Dismissed Negros gov refuses to step down

Danny B. Dangcalan - The Philippine Star

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, who was ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman last week over the misuse of calamity funds, has refused to leave his post.

Senior Superintendent Harris Fama, acting director of the Negros Oriental police, said Degamo remains holed up in the governor’s office.

 Margie Biligan, director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in the Negros Island Region served the dismissal order and installed reelected Vice Gov. John Edward Mark Macias as acting governor on Friday.

Degamo, who received the ombudsman’s order on Monday, said he is waiting for the Court of Appeals to issue a temporary restraining order.

Fama said they are securing the provincial capitol, where hundreds of Degamo’s supporters have camped out since Friday.

He said they are also providing security for Macias, who is holding office at Sidlakang Negros near the provincial capitol.

Macias will serve as governor until June 30 when he takes his oath as vice governor. He might be sworn in as governor again if the post remains vacant. 

2 governors

In a press statement, Macias disputed reports that there are two governors in the province.

“It’s normal for some people to continue to be in denial over the rapid turn of events,” he said.

Macias issued a memorandum directing department heads to continue performing their duties and to secure official documents and government properties.

Degamo’s dismissal stemmed from a complaint  for malversation of public funds and grave misconduct filed by June Vincente Manuel Gaudan, a resident of Barangay Taclobo, Dumaguete City.

Gaudan accused Degamo of misusing P480 million in calamity funds in 2012, after Typhoon Sendong devastated the province. – With Freeman News Service

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