Governor Roel Degamo obtained a fresh mandate from Negros Oriental residents after he was proclaimed on May 17 by the provincial board of canvassers as the winner in the heated gubernatorial race.

Degamo of PDP-Laban won overwhelmingly with 212,252 votes defeating his two known political and economic giant- rivals in Negros Oriental — 1st district Congresswoman Josy Limkaichong of the Liberal Party who only got 161, 361 while former Finance secretary Margarito Teves of UNA only garnered 148,604 votes.

Ranked as number one Provincial Board member, Degamo assumed as vice-governor in 2010 after the death of the reelected Governor Emilio Macias II, and in 2011 he assumed as governor in January 2011 after the death of Governor Agustin Perdices.

Degamo acknowledged that his assumption was willed by God as part of his destiny, thus, he wanted to confirm his fate by the votes of the people and beat his opponents in this year’s mid-term elections.

Degamo was proclaimed along with Mark Macias of LP as vice-governor elect with 160,650 votes against Degamo’s running mate Henry Sojor with 137,527 votes, and incumbent vice-governor Apolinario Arnaiz Jr. with 119,653 votes.

Macias is the son of the late Governor Emilio Macias III, a newcomer in politics who gave up his medical practice in Manila and return to Negros Oriental.

Comelec Provincial Supervisor and Chair of the Board of Canvassers, Atty. Juvenal Tuale said the canvassing of election returns (ERs) at the legislative building, Capitol got delayed because of defective compact flash cards used on Precinct Count Optical Scan machines deployed in the cities of Bais and Bayawan and Bindoy town.This has delayed the proclamation of winning candidates.

However, after four days of waiting for the replacement of the memory cards, finally the BOCs proclaimed the provincial winners.

Both governor and vice-governor elect thanked all the Negrenses for its overwhelming support and pledged to work together for the betterment of Negros Oriental. (FCR/JCT/PIA7-Negros Oriental)