PEOPLE’S GOVERNOR. Governor-elect Joseph C. Cua converses with constituents after the holy mass at the Virac Cathedral.
Re-elected Governor Joseph C. Cua assured the Catandunganons that he would continuously fight for their mandate of choosing him as governor, despite uncertainties of assuming his post.
“Dai sana magmundo sakuyang mga padaba. My door is not only in the Capitol; it is always open here in my heart as a public servant. They can never close it nor bar me from opening this for my people, the Catandunganon,” Cua said, after affirming his oath of office, alongside his family.
In his message during the Oath-taking ceremony of elected officials of the provincial government on Sunday, June 30, 2019 at the Provincial Convention Center, Gov. Cua informed the audience that it is uncertain if he would assume his office at noon of the same day.
Cua said his camp received an advanced verbal information from the Department of Interior and Local Government of a “bad news.”
Cua has served a six-month preventive suspension from the Office of the Ombudsman on allegations of abuse of authority over a contractor’s use of a capitol-owned vacant lot. The DILG has meted Cua with another one-year suspension directing cease and desist from performing the functions and responsibilities of his office until the suspension for one year without pay is fully served.
However, Cua’s camp was positive that he would assume office in July after a landslide win in the gubernatorial race.
He cited the provision of the Ombudsman order, which states that “in the event that the penalty of suspension can no longer be enforced due to separation from the service, the same shall be converted in fine in the amount equivalent to respondent’s salary for one (1) year payable to the Office of the Ombudsman…Separation from the service being defined such as, but not limited to: Retirement, Resignation, or Expiration of the term of office.”
“I want you to remember that I am in pain not because I am disbarred to hold my office. That would be too superficial and selfish. The feeling that I have now is my regret that I made you an orphan when you have spoken, in the noble exercise of your fundamental democratic right, that you wanted me to be the father of this province as manifested by the election,” Cua said.
Cua said legal actions are already being done. “Padagos tabi an satong laban laban sa lado ning legal na aspeto kan kasong ini. This is just a legal impediment.”
Despite the turn of events, Cua said that this challenge will define his connections with fellow Catandunganons, branding it as “an acid test of camaraderie.”
“As long as I can stand in front of my people, I will fight for you. Mabalik sa mabalik ako saindo asin dai ko sasayangon an boses nin katawuhan sa pagpili sakuya bilang gobernador nin probinsiya. Daing rason na dai ako magbalik,” he said.
Some snaps from the Oath-taking ceremony.
‘Tamang Timpla’ Trio
Cua’s running-mates, re-elected Vice Gov. Shirley A. Abundo and newly-elected Cong. Hector S. Sanchez, also took their oath of office.
Abundo, who served as Acting Governor for six months, thanked her supporters, whom she said, made possible her being reelected as Vice Governor.
She likened her political journey to a long pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
“Sa paglalakad ko for 15 years papuntang Jerusalem, napakarami pong pagsubok. Along the way, maraming bato, along the way maraming tinik, pero tuloy-tuloy lang ang lakad kase andun ang pangarap na maabot ang Jerusalem kasi alam ko doon sa Jerusalem naghihintay yung mga taong bumoto para sa akin at para sating lahat,” she said.
“Ngayon, binigyan na naman ako ng panibagong 3 taon para subuking maabot ulit ang Jerusalem,” she added.
Abundo maintained that Sangguniang Panlalawigan will remain participative but independent. She asked for the support and collaboration among the SP members, emphasizing that the council members should work as a team for the best of Catanduanes.
“Ang hingi ko po sa gabos na nagtuwang sakuya bilang bise gobernador, patuloy niyo lang po akong ipagdasal,” she urged.
‘WONDER’ WOMAN. Vice Governor-elect Shirley A. Abundo talks about her journey in politics, thanking her avid supporters and asking them for their constant prayers. (Photo credits: Beato Tolledo, Jr.)
Meanwhile, Cong. Sanchez called for unity among leaders, especially with the leadership of Tamang Timpla trio which banks on a “consultative, participative, and inclusive governance.”
“Election has always its way of tearing us apart but reconciliation for a nobler cause of helping our fellow Catandunganons is a duty and call above and over this petty political fragmentation,” Sanchez said.
Cong. Sanchez formerly served as governor of Catanduanes in 1998-2001. This is his first term as representative of the lone district of Catanduanes.
Congressman-elect Hector S. Sanchez takes his oath of office. (Photo credits: Beato Tolledo, Jr.)
The eight members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Catanduanes also took their oath. The august body will be composed of the following Provincial Board Members: EAST DISTRICT – Hon. Lorenzo T. Templonuevo, Jr., Hon. Arnel B. Turado, Hon. Robert A. Fernandez, and Hon. Edwin T. Tanael; WEST DISTRICT – Hon. Rafael C. Zuniega, Hon. Giovanni A. Balmadrid, Hon. Natalio C. Popa, and Hon. Santos V. Zafe.
The Oath-taking ceremony was attended in by: Bishop Manolo delos Santos, who led the invocation; Executive Judges Genie G. Gapas-Agbada and Hon. Lelu Contreras, and Hon. Peter Cua, Philippine League of Municipalities – Catanduanes President; Deped Division Chorale members; Catandungan singer-artist Nonong Icaranom; department heads and employees of national and local government agencies; members of the academe, local press, Freemasons; barangay officials; and guests.
A holy mass presided over by Rev. Fr. Randy de Quiroz was held first at the Virac Cathedral to solemnly start the ceremony.
AFFIRMING THE MANDATE. Elected provincial board members from the West and East District of Catanduanes, together with their families, take their oath of office. Honorable Genie G. Gapas-Agbada, Executive Judge Branch 42, administers the oath.
CATANDUNGANONS’ CHOICE. The elected officials of the provincial government of Catanduanes who will serve from June 30, 2019 (at 12 noon) to June 30, 2022. (Photo credits: Beato Tolledo, Jr.)