Dinagatnons hold mass protest, ask SC to reconsider Dinagat’s provincehood

Around two thousand Dinagatnons converged at San Jose town on Saturday afternoon, March 12 asking the Supreme Court (SC) justices to reconsider their decision in declaring “constitutional” the law creating the province of Dinagat Islands.

Armed with banners and streamers, ordinary folks, employees and officials of Dinagat Islands are in unison calling the justices to reevaluate their judgment and let their own officials continue the development of the province.

“Ipadayon ang Kalambuan sa Dinagat. Korte Suprema, maawa ka! (Continue the development of Dinagat. Supreme Court, have mercy on us!)” are the strong words they all shouted.

Senior Board Member Joslyn Ecleo clarified that what they are really seeking is freedom from the bondage of poverty. “Mao kini dapat makita sa Supreme Court. (This is what the Supreme Court must see.) All our development undertakings will be put to waste if we will not be a province anymore.”

Cagdianao Mayor Marc Adelson Longos said the SC’s decision would mean no continuity of development for Dinagat Islands.

“Gov. Glenda has a lot of plans for the province. A series of projects are about to start this year, but these are all gone because of these three petitioners. ”

The three petitioners are the former provincial officials led by the late Surigao del Norte Vice Gov. Rodolfo Navarro, former Board Members Atty. Victor Bernal and Atty. Rene Medina who filed before the Supreme Court questioning the legality of Republic Act 9355 also known as the law creating the province of Dinagat Islands which was signed last Oct. 2, 2006 by former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Latest reports revealed that the Supreme Court issued an En Banc Notice dated January 11, 2011 signed and released on January 26, 2011 by Enriqueta E. Vidal, Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court granting Motion for Execution of Judgment declaring RA 9355 unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court also granted under paragraph (g) on that same en banc notice directing the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to conduct a “Special Elections” as soon as possible for all affected positions in the Province of Surigao del Norte and enjoining the respondents and other respective counsels from further submitting new and/or additional pleadings under pain of contempt of court, in view of the finality of its decision.

But Provincial Environment and Natural Reosurces Officer Zacarias Vales argued that the Supreme Court has still to issue a final decision on March 22. “The Supreme Court en banc will convene on March 22 and we are hoping that the decision will now be favorable to us.” (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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