Dumaguete City | The Two Governors of Negros Oriental, Degamo vs. Teves

The Two Governors of Negros Oriental, Degamo vs. Teves
The Two Governors of Negros Oriental, Degamo vs. Teves

The Two Governors of Negros Oriental

October 11, 2022, is an unforgettable and sad day for 296,897 Negrense. Today is the day that Governor Pryde Henry Teves stepped down from the provincial office. Governor Pryde followed the mandate of the DILG and refused to hold on to the wishes of his followers of staying in power. 

It was noted that after the May 2022 elections, the province of Negros Oriental had two governors. It was after former Mayor Pryde Henry Teves received 296,897 votes, over his opponent incumbent Governor Roel Degamo’s 277,462 votes. But the short twist of this, a candidate a.k.a Ruel Degamo was in the mix. And if Mr. RU’s vote is nullified and added up to the Roel Degamo, the incumbent Governor will win.

And apparently, that's what happened. Mayor Pryde was declared first as the Governor by the COMELEC, but on October 03, the COMELEC and DILG nullified RU’s votes and declared Governor Roel Degamo as the victor.

Now here is my opinion about this entire drama.

Very big Respect to Former Mayor Pryde Henry Teves

Pryde Henry Teves showed class as he willingly stepped down from office after the DILG ordered him to do so. Even with the thousands of cries from followers to hold on to office and fight a very long legal battle, he peacefully stepped down. 

He would not take the road similar to the incumbent Governor, where the latter demonstrated resistance after he barricaded the Capitol area when Teves was about to assume power (which was overturned on October 03).

Though Mayor Pryde Henry Teves lost the gubernatorial elections now, he still managed to win the hearts of the people.

Roel Degamo is the Voice of Negros Oriental 

Following the COMELEC’s decision, more Filipinos still chose Degamo over Teves. It was evident coming into the elections that the Teves family poured everything they had to catch the hearts of the Negrosanon. With online raffle draws giving away thousands of pesos, big concert events, and boodle fights. It was still not enough to persuade the majority of the people of Negros Oriental. 

Partly maybe because of three simple things. 

First, Roel Degamo projects a persona reflective of the working middle and lower class. His family name itself - de Gamo - means work. Though his possessions and power speak otherwise, he walks around his house and town like an ordinary person. And in contrast to the family name Teves, who are known descendants of elite Hacienderos of the island. Second, Roel Degamo, within his term, was able to complete government projects in small towns and even far-flung barangays. Together with other local public officials, they were able to build roads in the middle of the mountains and give more opportunities to locals. His name was associated with the successes of these projects, which was difficult to erase even with flashy raffle draws by the Teves. And lastly, Roel de Gamo had the support of the Villar's, former President Rodrigo Duterte, and now President Bongbong Marcos Jr.  Although Mayor Pryde looked like a very tough contender, he was the underdog challenger going to the gubernatorial fight.

Something has to be Done with How COMELEC Accepts Candidates

When Mr. Ruel Degamo filed for candidacy, it was very clear that it was not his real name. It was also very clear that he had no background in public service, so why did the COMELEC allowed Mr. RU de Gamo to run for office? The red flags were there, but COMELEC insisted him as a probable candidate for the Governor seat of Negros Oriental. If the COMELEC acted during filing for candidacy, this entire drama that affected the hearts of thousands of people from Negros Oriental would not have happened. And not just the hearts of the people that are affected here, but there is also an invisible financial loss or expense that the Philippine Government incurred because of COMELEC’s lack of foresight. Hopefully, this is something lawmakers would look into to avoid recurrence.

Final Thoughts, the two Governors of Negros Oriental, Degamo vs. Teves

It was good that the rally ended peacefully, and that former Mayor and Governor Pryde Henry Teves handled the situation with class and dignity. He showed a true act of leadership in front of thousands of people.

And our new Provincial Governor Roel Degamo received justice for the injustice done to him. It is now his time to lead the province of Negros Oriental, it is now his time to show thousands of his followers that he is the rightful Governor.

Though we still can’t say that all of this is over, and none is still certain if Teves has given up or if he would make an appeal. But one thing is for sure, all of the people of Negros Oriental would want an honest and working Governor because the Negrense deserve a leader that can usher the province to prosperity.

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