The Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed Roel Degamo of PDP-Laban and Edward Mark Macias of Liberal Party, as winning governor and vice governor of Negros Oriental, respectively, at 4 p.m. yesterday, after four days of canvassing with snags that slowed down the post-elections process.

Degamo and Macias were proclaimed, amid a cheering crowd of supporters, family, relatives and friends inside the jampacked session hall of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, by the PBOC, headed by acting provincial elections supervisor Juvenal Tuale, with DepEd Provincial Schools Division superintendent Salustiano Jimenez and Prosecutor Juditho Agan as members.

The proclamation was made even as around 2,000 votes in Bayawan City and Bindoy town were still to be transmitted because the main memory cards of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines of two clustered precincts in these areas had been corrupted.

Official partial results of the Comelec showed Degamo in the lead with 212,252 votes, followed by Jocelyn Limkaichong (LP), 161,361; former Finance Secretary Margarito Teves (Nationalist People’s Coalition), 148,604; and Samuel Torres (Independent) with 1,141.

For the vice gubernatorial race, Macias got 160,656 votes, followed by Dr. Henry Sojor (PDP), 137,527; and incumbent vice governor Apolinario Arnaiz Jr. (NPC), 119,653.

The partial tally represented about 98 percent of the election returns of Negros Oriental, Tuale said.

He also said they decided to proclaim Degamo and Macias as their leads over their rival bets were substantial and highly unlikely to be overturned despite the absence of ERs from Bayawan City and Bindoy.

Tuale said that under Comelec Resolution 9700, they are allowed to hold the provisional proclamation of winners despite an incomplete canvass of votes.

The delay in the proclamation was due to faulty PCOS cards reported in 10 clustered precincts of the province. The replacement memory cards arrived on separate dates, with some mix-up also noted, like the one for Bindoy with a mislabeled name of a barangay.

Tuale said they hope they will attain a 100 percent canvass by today, and proclaim the rest of the winners, including the congressional representatives of the three districts of the province and members of the SP.*JFP