By SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
and NITZ ARANCON
MISAMIS Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano yesterday took another leave of absence and left the capitol with no official spokesperson.
His information officer, Florito “Carlo” Dugaduga, also went on leave.
It was the second time for Emano to take a leave of absence in less than a month, leaving more unanswered questions about his controversial 2013 agreement with one Rhea Ritzie P. Nueva, a woman who no one in the capitol seems to know nothing about except for the governor.
Emano went on an 11-day leave Oct. 17 and returned late last week. A capitol official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the act was a breach of the communication protocols set by Emano, said the governor went to the US last month with Sen. Cynthia Villar and other local chief executives.
Emano then left for Vietnam yesterday, the same day this paper carried a report about a 2017 civil case filed by the humanitarian organization Philippine Red Cross against the governor and Nueva.
In the 2017 case, the Red Cross questioned the 2013 deal that allowed Nueva to lease a 1,029-square meter property across the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, build structures on it, and then engage in subletting without the approval of the provincial board. Here’s the catch: the humanitarian group showed two transfer certificates of title to support its claim that the 1,029 square meters are owned by the Red Cross, and not by the capitol.
None of the questions about the identity of Nueva, her firm Capitol Lease Ventures, the provincial board-unauthorized Emano-Nueva deal, and the Red Cross’s ownership claims have been answered by the capitol.
- Read also: Emano, Nueva in Red Cross case
The capitol was also left with no official spokesperson yesterday. Dugaduga, the provincial information office head, also took a leave of absence from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6.
Dugaduga’s assistant, Louie Maliza, declined to give comments, explaining that he was unauthorized to speak on behalf of the information office or the capitol.
“Dili ko authorized. Si Sir Carlo ra,” Maliza said.
But in a text message, Dugaduga declined to say anything about the Red Cross claim, saying he has yet to discuss the capitol’s position with the provincial legal officer, lawyer Cerilo Pacana.
Dugaduga said when Emano returned last week, the governor was focused on the capitol’s security and other preparations for All Saints’ and All Souls’ days. He said Emano also gave the police in the province 70 body cameras.
This paper asked Pacana about the capitol’s position on the Red Cross claims but the lawyer has yet to answer at press time.
Emano, in a memorandum, designated Vice Gov. Jeremy Jonahmar Pelaez, as capitol caretaker from Nov. 4 to Nov. 8.
Joining Emano in his Vietnam trip are provincial board members Wayne Militante, Erik Khu, Syremae Emano, Nancy Madjos, Gerardo Sabal III, Dexter Yasay, Virgilia Dumadag, and Vincent Pelaez.
- Read also: Emano, Nueva deal probe in the offing