SC upholds victory of Negros Oriental governor

By Benjamin Pulta

February 14, 2023, 5:56 pm

<p>Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo <em>(Facebook)</em></p>

Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo (Facebook)

MANILA – The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the petitions questioning the result of the Negros Oriental gubernatorial race between Pryde Henry Teves and Roel Degamo.

In a statement, the high tribunal said it upheld the win of Roel Degamo and has junked the petitions filed by Teves and Grego “Ruel” Degamo against the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

"The Court found that the Commission on Elections en banc did not commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing its Resolution in SPA No. 21-085 (DC) dated September 1, 2022 in favor of Roel Degamo,” the SC said.

The Comelec en banc affirmed the resolution of the Second Division, which ruled Grego “Ruel” Degamo as a nuisance candidate and annulled Teves' proclamation as the provincial governor.

The votes obtained by Grego Degamo was credited in favor of Roel Degamo.

The final recount showed Roel Degamo got 331,726 votes while Teves had 301,319.

Teves relinquished his post in October last year after the SC did not grant his motion for a temporary restraining order.

The SC echoed the poll body's observation that it was only for the 2022 elections that Grego Degamo used “Ruel” as his nickname.

There was no violation on the right to due process of Teves even if he was not impleaded in the petition filed by “Roel” against “Ruel”.

"Moreso, the number of votes he has garnered will remain the same, with the Comelec proceeding merely on the appreciation of the votes cast by the voters and determine whether all of the votes obtained by the declared nuisance candidate will have to be credited in favor of the declared real candidate,” the SC ruled.

In a Facebook post which included a copy of the SC decision, the governor said “justice has been served to the people of Negros Oriental!”

“To the most powerful God, thank you so much! Happy Valentine’s everyone!!!” Gov. Degamo said. (PNA)