New NegOr guv to meet with mayors for ‘synchronized plans’

Domestic Affairs

Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves on Thursday said he would meet with mayors of the province to synchronize his and their plans for the next three years.

Teves issued the statement in a press conference after he took his oath of office around 10 a.m. before Negros Oriental Executive Judge Gerardo Paguio Jr. at the Hall of Justice here.

“My first task maybe (is) I will first meet all the mayors and Board Members because I would like to synchronize our plans so that each town or city who would come up with their respective ELA (executive-legislative agenda so that we would be on board for the next three years,” Teves said.

“I will ask the mayors to prepare their individual ELAs first before I make my own for the province so that these would complement their needs,” he added.

He also met with the department heads of the province at the Legislative Building inside the Capitol grounds on Thursday so that “we can move forward in one direction and I will be the captain of the ship”.

He said among his priorities is to look into the organizational structure of the provincial government and ensure food security for Capitol workers, especially those under a job order (JO) status.

The former Bayawan City mayor also noted the need for an audit of the provincial government's current resources to determine how these can be effectively used for his programs.

Meanwhile, Teves held his first meeting with the department heads at the Legislative Building at the Capitol grounds amid reports that former governor Roel Degamo will not relinquish his post.

Easing tensions

Degamo was holed up inside his office at the Capitol while his supporters were camped outside in front of the building, taking turns in a protest rally asking that he should not be asked to step down.

Hundreds of law enforcers, led by the police with reinforcement from the Philippine Army, and the Bureau of Fire Protection, were deployed to the Capitol to secure the perimeter.

Col. Germano Mallari, provincial police director, reiterated that they will be exercising maximum tolerance to avert violent confrontations.

Two fire trucks were on standby while Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) teams with truncheons and nightsticks were also in formation to move in anytime a command is given.

Hours passed since 12 noon – the official time for previous local officials whose terms ended or who lost in the last elections was to step down from office – but the law enforcers were just biding time while negotiations were being made.

There were a few standoffs during the first few hours, but at around 4 p.m., Special Action Force (SAF) teams moved in and breached dump trucks used as barriers to break up the protesters.

Other elite forces like the Special Weapons and Tactics, the CDM, and other police units also moved in from both flanks to disperse the protesters.

Leocadio Trovela, director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Region 7 and Police Regional Office 7 director Brig. Gen. Eduardo Vega arrived in Negros Oriental to help in the negotiations.

The ongoing dispute at the Capitol stemmed from a pending disqualification case filed against a nuisance candidate named Ruel Degamo (Grego Gaudia Degamo) who also ran for governor.

The Comelec’s Second Division ruled last December that the other Degamo was a nuisance candidate but the respondent filed a motion for reconsideration, elevating the case to the Comelec en banc, which still has to come up with a resolution.

Degamo believes that the votes of his namesake should automatically be counted in his favor, and if this happens, his votes will be more than what Teves garnered in the recent polls.

Meanwhile, Teves said it does not matter whether he can occupy the Office of the Governor at the Capitol as he can always hold office elsewhere in the event Degamo will not vacate the said office.

Source: Philippines News Agency