DUMAGUETE CITY (UPDATED) — Negros Oriental Governor Jorge Carlo Joan "Guido" Reyes, the successor of slain governor Roel Degamo, has died, the provincial government said Wednesday.
Provincial administrator Karen Molas told ABS-CBN News that Reyes died after battling a lingering illness but did not disclose additional details.
She had received the call from Reyes' daughter confirming the governor's passing.
"It has been my life's honor to serve under such a kind and generous leader," Molas said in a video message Wednesday afternoon.
She also said that she met with Vice Governor Manuel "Chaco" Sagarbarria Jr., informing him of Reyes' programs and projects. Sagarbarria is expected to take over the governorship soon.
Reyes died some 2 months since his ally and predecessor Roel Degamo was murdered in his private compound in Pamplona, Negros Oriental last March.
A few weeks after Degamo's death, Reyes entered the governor's office at the Provincial Capitol in Dumaguete City and vowed to continue the programs that his ally started.
This is the first time in more than a decade that 2 Negros Oriental governors died in succession.
In 2010, then-Governor Emilio Macias II died a few weeks after he won the gubernatorial elections that year. A few months later, Macias' successor Agustin Perdices also died in January 2011.
Macias' and Perdices' successive deaths had paved the way for Degamo, who had just been elected as board member in the 2010 polls, to assume the governorship.
Degamo would hold the office until June 2022, and later from October 2022 until his assassination last March.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who Reyes endorsed in 2022 polls, extended his sympathies to the governor's family.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Negros Oriental Governor Carlo Jorge Joan “Guido” Reyes on May 31. 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," Marcos said in a statement.
Suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr., who remains overseas, also expressed his condolences with Reyes' family.
"I'd like to extend my sincere condolences to the family of the late Gov Guido Reyes especially to my very close friend Mikoy and his father Sir Ernesto, Condolences po," he said in video message.
Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar, Reyes' party-mate in the Nacionalista Party (NP) also paid tribute to the deceased governor.
"We remember Governor Guido as a kind, dedicated and passionate leader who has tirelessly advanced the welfare of his constituents. His wisdom and experience in public service has helped strengthened the party." said Villar, who is also the party's spokesperson.
"We will forever honor his contributions as we continue strive to become the leaders and public servants that our country needs." she added .
—with reports from Job Manahan and RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News
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