THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) Special Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed Monday, October 3, 2022, former governor Roel Degamo as the real winner in the May 2022 gubernatorial race in the province.

Degamo, in a Facebook post after his proclamation Monday, thanked his supporters for their prayers and vowed to continue to serve his constituents.

“Finally, justice is served. Daghang salamat sa tanang mga pag ampo ug pangaliya sa taga Negros Oriental. Ako mag pabilin nga inyung tinuod nga gipili isip gobernador sa lalawigan sa Negros Oriental,” he said.

Degamo’s returning to office came after the Comelec resolved a petition filed against a nuisance candidate and nullified the win of Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves.

During the flag raising ceremony at the Provincial Capitol Monday, October 3, Teves in his speech said he would “honestly and gladly accept without any form of resistance” whatever the decision of the Comelec would be.

“Whatever happens, I hope the less than 100 days that I am with you, I hope I have shared some things that will help you in your career and personal lives in the future. One thing I can say, whatever happens, I am and will always be honored to work with all of you,” Teves said.

The nuisance candidate named Grego Gaudia used the name “Ruel Degamo” in the ballots for the May 9, 2022 elections.

Gaudia was declared as a nuisance candidate in December 2021 but his lawyer filed a petition, making his name on the ballots in May 2022.

Gaudia as Ruel Degamo garnered 49,039 votes in the May polls, but the Comelec en banc affirmed the December 2021 resolution of its Second Division declaring him a nuisance candidate.

This prompted Roel Degamo to file a petition to transfer the votes to him, to which the Comelec eventually granted.

The transfer of votes garnered by the nuisance candidate raised Roel Degamo’s total number of votes from 277,462 to 326,501.

This outnumbered Teves’ total votes of 296,897 by 29,604 votes after the Comelec’s new ruling.

But based on the Special Provincial Board of Canvassers’ updated canvass, Degamo obtained 331,726 votes, while Teves got 301,319 votes. (LMY)