CA stops dismissal of Negros Or. governor
DUMAGUETE CITY—The political crisis gripping Negros Oriental province is far from over.
Gov. Roel Degamo claimed victory after receiving a temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals’ Fifth Division that stopped his dismissal from the service on grave misconduct charges.
“Business is now back to usual at the capitol,” declared Degamo, who holed up in his office to defy the dismissal order served by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
But Vice Gov. Mark Macias, who was installed by the DILG on June 17 to succeed Degamo, continued to discharge the governor’s duties. He said he would only refrain if the DILG acts on the appellate court’s order and says so.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found Degamo, provincial treasurer Danilo Mendez and provincial accountant Teodorico Reyes liable for grave misconduct in connection with the unauthorized release of P480 million in calamity funds in 2012, even after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) withdrew the special allotment release order (Saro) for the money.
Morales dismissed the three from government service and penalized them with perpetual disqualification from public office.
Degamo filed a petition in the Court of Appeals for a writ of injunction to stop the Ombudsman from implementing the dismissal order.
In a resolution on June 23, the court issued the temporary restraining order, saying “the people of Negros Oriental had been deprived of their right to be served by the person they voted [for] and installed in public office.”
The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz, and concurred in by Associate Justices Samuel Gaerlan and Ramon Paul Hernando. Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon inhibited himself from the case.
Degamo told reporters in anews conference on Friday that he would continue to discharge his duties as governor. He said his staff was preparing for his inauguration and installation in office today at the Negros Oriental Convention Center.
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