BONTOC, Mountain Province – The leadership vacuum resulting from the untimely demise of governor Leonard Mayaen has been filled up with the swearing in of vice governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. last Tuesday.
Lacwasan is to serve the unexpired term of Mayaen which will end on the last day of June.
In his short remarks after the oath taking, Lacwasan accepted with ” heavy heart” the responsibilities of a local chief executive. “It is just so bad that I am assuming the governorship this way. But with a heavy heart, I will take over the post vacated by our boss whom I know is a great friend and a good teacher,” Lacwasan noted.
With government employees in attendance, Lacwasan said he will continue with the programs of Mayaen particularly in seeing through the implementation of “pro-employee” policies started by the late governor. “With the cooperation of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, I will try my best to ensure the realization of his dreams for the employees. We will make every effort to implement the salary standardization law and ensure the continuance of other benefits for our provincial work force,” Lacwasan emphasized.
The new governor added that there will be no movement and reassignment of provincial employees up to June 30. “I will maintain the status quo as far as the existing assignments of provincial employees is concerned,” he said.
Lacwasan started his political career as a barangay chairman of Otucan Sur. He was consequently elected as municipal president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) in 1995 and two years later as Provincial ABC president up to 2007. As provincial ABC president, he sat at the provincial legislative board as an ex-officio member.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics diploma from the University of Manila and finished a diploma course in Local Governance and Development at the Development Academy of the Philippines.
On the same occasion, senior board member Francis Tauli was sworn in as vice governor. A native of Sagada, Tauli is a licensed geodetic engineer and a civil engineering course graduate.
Tauli once worked as an engineering assistant at the Sagada Municipal government before entering politics in 1998 where he was elected as a municipal councilor for two successive terms. He won the vice mayorship in 2004. A first termer at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan he got the highest percentage votes in the 2013 elections among the eight elected members of the provincial board.
Lacwasan and Tauli come from entrenched political clans. The late Bonifacio Lacwasan, Sr. was a former member of the provincial board and later as deputy governor of the sub-province of Bontoc during the old Mountain Province days.
George Tauli, Sr., father of the newly sworn vice governor, was a long time Barangay captain in Sagada and, for three times, was the municipal ABC president.
Those who gave eulogies were: Vice Governor Francis Tauli, Tadian Mayor Anthony Wooden and Provincial Administrator Johny Lausan.
By Angel B. Baybay