By Roi Lomotan
NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – Incumbent Governor Roel Degamo and Vice-Governor Mark Macias get another term in the province.
This after the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed them as winners in the gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial race here.
The proclamation, held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall at the Provincial Legislative Building in Dumaguete City, was done even without the election results from Jimalalud town.
Legal counsels from both camps requested for a motion to proclaim because of statistical improbability, which means the number of votes received by the two candidates highly exceeded the number of votes received by their rival candidate and would still remain the same even if the votes from Jimalalud were added to the total results.
With no person expressing any objection, Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano granted the motion and proceeded with the proclamation of winners.
Governor Degamo garnered 313, 703 votes against his rival, Cong. George Arnaiz, who got 206, 052 votes.
On the other hand, Vice Governor Macias received 270, 063 votes against Board Member Liland Estacion, also a candidate for the vice-governor position who received 138, 273 votes.
In an interview with the media after his proclamation, Gov. Degamo thanked the voters who cast their votes for him.
“I thank you. I will use this as an inspiration and we will bring more programs and projects to the people,” he said.
The governor also added that he will talk to Vice Governor Macias as well as to the new members of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan and appeal for unity and cooperation in order to deliver better services to the people of the province.
“I hope they will accept my appeal for unity because this is what people are expecting from us. We have to unite,” Degamo stressed.
Degamo is a member of the National Unity Party while Macias is part of the Liberal Party.
Macias also expressed gratitude to those who voted for him. “First of all, I am thankful because many people have put their trust in me. I will really do my best to make myself worthy of their vote,” Macias said.
The vice governor also disclosed that he is open to coordinating with the executive department citing that it is ideal there should be an executive-legislative agenda.
Other local officials who were proclaimed today were First District Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong and incument Board Member Jessica Villanueva.
Meanwhile, Castillano explained Jimalalud could not transmit election returns because of a glitch in the Canvassing and Consolidation System (CCS) laptop.
He said the laptop would not initialize and receive results from the Vote Counting Machines (VCM).
“The latest order we received from Manila is to actually bring the CCS laptop to Sta. Rosa warehouse (in Laguna) where it will be repaired and re-configured,” he said.
The municipality of Jimalalud has 17, 060 registered voters.
However, he maintained that even without the results from Jimalalud, said candidates have earned enough votes to qualify them as winners but the official papers will be submitted to Manila with results from the said town. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was originally published at PIA website on May 11, 2016)