ArchivesJune 2010Smooth turnover assured on June 30

Smooth turnover assured on June 30


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DUMAGUETE CITY–Rep. George Arnaiz (2nd Dist.) has stepped in to ensure a smooth transition between Gov. Jose “Petit” Baldado and Vice-Governor-elect Agustin “Tuting” Perdices on June 30. {{more}}

Interviewed by phone, Arnaiz said he arranged the meeting with the two officials over lunch Tuesday at the Perdices-owned Mamia Restaurant to discuss the terms of a peaceful transfer of power, after doubts were cast by several lawyers as to who would be the rightful successor to the vacancy created by the death of Governor-elect Emilio Macias II last June 13.

Lawyers are divided on whether Perdices is entitled to move up to the post of Governor based on the rule of succession in the Local Government Code or whether a special election is needed to select a new governor. In the absence of a Supreme Court ruling on the matter, some lawyers say the two opposing legal angles need to be tested through a court case.

Perdices had earlier said he is bent on being sworn in as Governor of Negros Oriental immediately after he assumes the position of Vice Governor on June 30.

In Monday’s lunch meeting, both Arnaiz and Perdices said Baldado agreed to peacefully step down as Governor and turn over the Office to Perdices.

But Arnaiz said the agreement does not mean that Baldado would not anymore raise some legal issues. “We agreed that Petit will give the office to Tuting but as to how the case will go is something for Petit to decide,” Arnaiz said in a telephone interview.

“My impression was that Baldado was in favor of the suggestion of Arnaiz not to file a Quo Warranto case but a case for Declaratory Relief, but I think he still wants to convince his lawyers,” Perdices said.

Arnaiz, however, said he offered no such advice to Baldado. “My only interest is in a smooth turnover. I will not interfere on their legal problems,” he said.

A Quo Warranto case would challenge Perdices’ act of assuming the post of Governor, where he would have to prove that he has the right to legally assume as Governor. If this happens, Perdices can only assume as Vice Governor and Acting Governor, while the matter is being settled.

On the other hand, a case for Declaratory Relief would mean that Baldado will ask the court to declare who should rightfully assume the position of Governor.

“I will take over the Office of the Governor either in an acting capacity or as the full-fledged Governor of the Province,” Perdices said.

When contacted for comment, Baldado said the meeting was cordial, but he declined to comment on what they had agreed on. He promised to issue a statement later Wednesday.

Baldado, last May 13, had asked the Commission on Elections to nullify the victory of Macias and instead declare him as the rightful winner in the May 10 elections. He pursued this case by filing a Memorandum before the Comelec on June 15. This matter is still pending before the Comelec.

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