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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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He's bent on retaking Capitol

Suspended Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo said he is definitely bent on retaking the provincial Capitol starting tomorrow, after the expiration of his 90-day preventive suspension by the Sandiganbayan, and the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order from the Court of Appeals in Cebu against the dismissal order of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Degamo called on agencies concerned to take note that the TRO was issued effective immediately and valid for 60 days, and enjoining the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and their representatives from implementing, carrying out, or enforcing the 2017 dismissal decision of the Ombudsman.

Provincial Interior and Local Government officer Dennis Quinones yesterday confirmed that he received a certified true copy of the TRO from Richard Enojo, the legal counsel of Degamo, but he could not implement it as his actions will be dependent on those of the DILG Central Office. A copy of the TRO was also sent to the Office of the SangguniangPanlalawigan.

Upon receipt of the letter with attachment of the TRO from Degamo's camp, Quinones said he immediately transmitted it to the DILG Central Office because the addressee is DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero.

Sitting Gov. Mark Macias said he is more than willing to step down as governor so long as he receives the order from the DILG. But it has to go through proper channels, until the official copy reaches the DILG provincial office. He said this has happened thrice already, when he was ordered by the DILG to assume the position, and so he will wait for the DILG to serve the TRO.

I will not stay a minute longer if it comes, he said.

After a meeting with department heads yesterday, Macias directed BerchmansPatrimonio, whom he had designated as the provincial administrator, to coordinate with offices concerned for the use of the Freedom Park in Dumaguete City, complete with sound system and canopy, if Degamo's supporters wish to gather for his return. He requested, however, that the way to the Capitol should not be blocked, for easy access of those who have transactions there.

Macias assured Negrenses that he will not do anything to aggravate the situation, and will immediately step down if he is served the official order from the DILG.

Macias said he cannot leave the post without an official order because it will be tantamount to dereliction of duty.

He appealed for calm and sobriety from supporters of both sides.

I will not call for people power, I'll be here that day holding office; if the order arrives, I will accept it and endorse everything back to Degamo, Macias said.

Degamo said if they were able to implement the dismissal order with speed, why can't they implement the TRO in the same manner?*




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