“I am still your governor until such time the Supreme Court says I am not,” Gov. Roel Degamo said in response to renewed calls for the Department of Interior and Local Government to enforce the dismissal order of the Ombudsman, following the expiration of the 60-day Temporary Restraining Order granted him, on Tuesday.
Degamo explained the Court of Appeals has denied the petition of June Vincent Gaudan, the DILG and the Ombudsman to grant him a permanent injunction. Instead, it issued an order submitting the case for resolution.
He assured the Negrenses that there is no vacuum to speak of because the TRO remains enforceable, unless lifted or extended.
Degamo criticized pronouncements made by two lawyers that the dismissal order against the provincial treasurer and the provincial accountant should also be enforced on him because it refers to the same facts of the case.
Degamo has expressed surprise as to why these two lawyers are so interested in the case, and he is toying with the idea of investigating their real intentions and motives.
In his personal capacity, lawyer Joel Obar noted that the dismissal order of Degamo was already issued, served and implemented on June 17, 2016, a few days before his term expires on June 30, and before the TRO was issued by the Court of Appeals five days later.
He strongly believes the DILG cannot anymore implement a dismissal for Degamo after the expiration of the 60-day TRO because it was already enforced and it cannot enforce the same order twice.
Obar said it would have been a different picture if the dismissal order was served and implemented on July 1, 2016. For what use it is to dismiss an elected official a few days before his term expires, Obar said. Degamo's camp considered it an interruption of his term limit.
He said the debate now is whether CA's order submitting the case for resolution is an order lifting the TRO or an order extending the same.
Obar's personal opinion said it did not say anything, and that the TRO already died a natural death.
However, Obar pointed out there's still light on the part of complainants to file a disqualification case before the Commission on Elections so it will appear that gubernatorial candidate George Arnaiz has no opponent in the last election and they have to finish the case before Degamo's term expires.*JG
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