DILG-Negros: We have no authority to force Degamo out of Capitol

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has no authority to force dismissed Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo out of the Provincial Capitol in Dumaguete City, its official said Tuesday.

Margie Biligan, director of DILG-Negros Island Region, who served the dismissal order Friday, said the agency is only an implementing body of the Office of the Ombudsman’s order.

Since Degamo did not receive the order, Biligan posted the document on the walls of the Capitol building instead.

Since Friday, Degamo, who was dismissed from the service due to illegal use of calamity funds, has not left the Governor’s Office while his supporters had been camping out in the Capitol premises.

Vice Governor Edward Mark Macias, who took his oath as governor, is holding office at Sidlakang Negros near the Capitol.

Macias, in a memorandum dated June 20 addressed to all department heads, informed them that he has assumed as governor, and Degamo has been directed to cease and desist from performing the functions of the Office of the Governor.

He also directed the department heads to continue performing their duties and functions and advised them to secure all official documents and government properties in their offices.

Biligan said she is hoping that the situation will be resolved soon to “normalize the operation of the provincial government,” and not affect the delivery of services, and the work of Capitol employees.

If there are queries from the local government, the DILG could render its opinion or would refer it to the proper authority, she added.

Biligan said it is up to the Commission on Elections and the Ombudsman to determine if Degamo can still sit as governor on June 30 after he won a fresh mandate in the May 9 elections.

DILG-NIR legal counsel Rose Shayne Duazo said they have been monitoring the situation in Negros Oriental.

It’s up to Degamo to decide when to leave the Capitol and it’s up to Macias to handle the situation, she said.

Duazo added that DILG is only for “supervision” of local governments.
“As far as DILG is concerned, the governor of Negros Oriental is Macias because the (agency) already implemented the dismissal against Degamo,” she said.

Duazo added that the Ombudsman’s decision can be appealed before the Court of Appeals, and then the Supreme Court.

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