Newly-installed Negros Oriental Gov. Manuel “Chaco” Longa Sagarbarria has vowed to prioritize the improvement of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, and to continue the projects initiated by his deceased predecessor, Gov. Carlo Jorge Joan “Guido” Reyes.
Sagarbarria, 36, was sworn into office Wednesday, hours after Reyes died while undergoing treatment for a terminal illness in Manila. The late Governor was 62.
Sagarbarria took his oath before Negros Oriental Executive Judge Gerardo Paguio at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall at the Legislative Building in Dumaguete, witnessed by his fellow members in the Provincial Board, Capitol officials and staff, and Sagarbarria’s family led by Dumaguete Vice Mayor Maisa Sagarbarria.
His father, 2nd District Rep. Chiquiting Sagarbarria, was in Manila that time wrapping up congressional work.
Provincial Director Farah Gentuya of the Department of the Interior & Local Government- Negros Oriental said that #2 Board Member Jaime “Jake” Reyes was also installed as the new vice governor, under the rules of succession.
Meanwhile, the two vacancies in the Provincial Board will have to be filled up by the political parties of Sagarbarria and Reyes, Gentuya said.
The new Governor said he has “big shoes to fill” after the death of Guido Reyes who was installed only three months ago in March, a few hours after the killing of Gov.Roel Degamo.
Sagarbarria was elected Board Member of the 2nd District in the May 9, 2022 elections, and became vice governor after the position was vacated by Reyes.
The new Governor has ordered the flying of the Philippine flags at half-mast in honor of the late Reyes.
He is also expected to announce his appointments of new provincial officials during the flag ceremony on Monday at the Lamberto Macias Sports & Cultural Center.
The body of Reyes was flown in Saturday to Dumaguete, where it lay in state at the Provincial Capitol for a few hours, and then taken to Guihulngan City the same day.
Meanwhile, President Marcos Jr. has mourned the death of Governor Guido Reyes. “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Negros Oriental Gov. Carlo Jorge Joan “Guido” Reyes on May 31,” Marcos said on a Facebook post.
He paid tribute to Reyes for “faithfully” serving the Negros Oriental province.He also offered condolences to the Reyes family.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and the people of the Province he served so faithfully. May his legacy continue to inspire, and his memory be cherished,” the President said.
Reyes was running-mate of Degamo, and was elected as vice governor in the May 9, 2022 elections.
The Diocese of Dumaguete has also expressed sympathy to the Reyes family.
In a statement on Thursday, Bishop Julito Cortes said he was joining the family and the rest of the Province in mourning the death of the 62-year-old local official.
“I am one with all of you in this time of grief and sorrow as we mourn the passing of Gov. Carlo Jorge Joan ‘Guido’ Reyes,” Bishop Cortes said.
“I send my heartfelt condolences to the family of Governor Guido, as well as to his close collaborators in the provincial government. Please know that I remember all of you in my masses and personal prayers,” the Catholic Prelate added.
Bishop Cortes urged the people to pray for the reposed soul of the late Governor.
“May the Lord of resurrection and life mercifully welcome the soul of Governor Guido into heaven and lead him to the place prepared by Jesus himself where there is no more pain and suffering,” he said.
At the same time, Cortes thanked Reyes for his dedication to serve his constituents.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation to the late Governor Guido for his commitment and service to the people of Negros Oriental,” the head of the Dumaguete Diocese added. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)