Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, Bayawan City Mayor Pride Henry Teves, and Vice-Gov. Mark Macias II will vie for the province’s top post in the 2022 elections.

A three-way fight is set for the top post in Negros Oriental in next year’s general elections.

Gov. Roel Degamo and Bayawan Mayor Pride Henry Teves filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) with throngs of supporters and allies showing up despite appeals from the Commission on Election.

Meanwhile, Vice-Gov. Mark Macias II, a member of a known political clan in the province, only announced his gubernatorial bid Thursday, a day before he filed his COC without any funfair.

From another political clan, Teves is a former house representative of the Third District of Negros Oriental before serving as chief executive of Bayawan City for two terms.

Backed by his brother, re-electionist Third District Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves (southwest), the district is said to be their political bailiwick, with other members of the clan seeking elected posts, along with their allies in various localities.

The Teves brothers are both running under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Pacquiao faction and have expressed support for the presidential bid of Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

For his part, Degamo recently gathered his allies where they virtually took an oath before Senator Cynthia Villar as members of the Nacionalista Party. The governor, however, has yet to name who they would support for the presidency.

Degamo first vied for a provincial post as Board Member of the third district, garnering the highest votes in 2010. However, after the subsequent deaths of then Governor-elect Emilio Macias II and the Vice-Gov. Agustin Perdices, Degamo was catapulted to the province’s highest post.

Though he started his political run in the third district, Degamo is now building a new bailiwick in the second district where his wife, Janice, is mayor of Pamplona town.

On the other hand, Macias admits not having his foes’ political machinery but trusts the support of re-electionist First District Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong, provincial chairman of the Liberal Party.

Macias, an orthopedic surgeon, has been consulting with those in the margins and presenting himself as an alternative choice for the governorship. – Ryan Sorote