By Raydes B. Barcia
Legazpi City – Albay governor Noel Rosal was unseated from his post on Tuesday after the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) enforced the writ of execution issued by the Commission on Elections on Thursday afternoon.
Atty. Arnaldo E. Escober, Jr., DILG Bicol regional director tried to enter the provincial capitol building but he was barred from entering the building by the supporters of embattled governor Noel Rosal.
Rosal supporters formed a human barricade at the main building of the provincial capitol to prevent the entry of DILG officials.
Rosal was in Manila when the DILG officials led by Atty. Arnaldo E. Escober served the writ of execution. The DILG officials were booed by supporters of Rosal while reading the writ of execution.
Vice Gov. Edcel Lagman took his oath at the office of Cedric Daep, chief of Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), capitol annex before the presence of Lawyer Ian Macasinag, former provincial legal officer of Albay under the reign of former governor Al Francis Bichara.
Governor Lagman post was succeeded by senior board member Glenda Ong-Bongao. Bongao also took his oath shortly after governor Edcel Grecon “Grex” Lagman.
Shortly after Lagman was sworn in he issued a statement calling for unity saying he succeeded the post of governor Noel Rosal after it was declared vacant by the Comelec.
Lagman said that he will be the governor of all Albayanos irrespective of political differences.
“It is indeed providential that I have succeeded by operation of law to be governorship of Albay after the Comelec en banc disqualified with finality governor Noel Rosal in a case of which I was not a party,” he said.
“I am just an incidental beneficiary of that case. However, it should be underscored when I won as Vice Governor, with an overwhelming 463,879 votes. The voters were aware that under the law I could succeed as governor. Verily, my mandate included that possibility which is now a reality. As your new governor, I pledge to the people of Albay the following steadfast commitments,” he said.
Lagman said that he will look after the interest and welfare of Albay and the Albayanos saying “it will be given an unqualified premium over partisan and transactional politics.
He said that under his new leadership, the province will be supportive of and cooperative with the national administration’s agenda and policies particularly for speedy economic recovery, enhanced local government autonomy, pro-people socio and economic reforms, rational land use allocation, utilization, development and management, achievement of food security, essential electoral reforms and genuine people empowerment.
“Education is a top priority. We will expand provincial scholarship programs to make it more inclusive and accessible to the underprivileged and marginalized,” he said.
He also vowed an adequate power supply will be assured and power rates will be rationalized. Measures that would reinforce energy efficiency and conservation will also be put in place.
“Boosting the local tourism industry and developing existing and new tourist destinations will be given preferential attention. The new leadership will spur growth opportunities by expanding markets extensively and allowing businesses and start-ups to flourish while protecting the environment. We will generate local and international investments and promote the province as an investment destination in the Philippines,” he said.
The religiosity of Albayanos will be respected even as participation in political discourse from all religious denominations will be protected, Lagman said.
The new administration, according to Lagman, will encourage and promote collaboration. “We aim to unite the government and the private sectors. We strive to be strengthened democratic institutions and consultative bodies so that no sector will be left behind. The new administration will endeavor to be a strong ally of the Albayano youth,” Lagman said.
“We recognize the local government’s responsibility to enable the youth to fulfill their vital role in nation-building by implementing youth development programs and projects such as the search for youth ambassadors. The Lagman brand of principled governance, accountability to the people, rejecting political vendettas and integrity IN public service will be the hallmark of my administration,” Lagman added. (Raydes B. Barcia)