Negros Oriental officials pay tribute to late governor Guido Reyes

Ryan Macasero

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Negros Oriental officials pay tribute to late governor Guido Reyes

RUNNING MATES. Roel Degamo and Guido Reyes are governor and vice governor at the time this photo was taken in December 2022.

Guido Reyes' Facebook page

The late governor Guido Reyes is remembered as an 'exemplary public servant'

MANILA, Philippines – The body of Carlo Jorge Joan ”Guido” Reyes, who became Negros Oriental governor following the assassination of Roel Degamo in March, was brought back to his home province on Saturday, June 3, at past 10 am.

Reyes, who served as governor for only three months, died at the age of 62 on Wednesday, May 31, after suffering from an undisclosed terminal illness, less than three months after he assumed office as governor.

Reyes was mayor of Guihulngan City for three consecutive terms before his successful bid for Negros Oriental vice governor, in tandem with Degamo, in 2022. He was vice mayor of Guihulngan from 2010 to 2013.

According to an obituary written by Dumaguete-based writer Ian Rosales Casocot, Reyes’ advocacies included providing scholarships to constituents who wanted to pursue higher education under the LGU-Guihulngnan Scholarship. “Education was one of the thrusts of his PursiGUIDO HELP Program, which also included projects on health, livelihood, and housing,” Casocot wrote.

Degamo’s widow, Pamplona town mayor Janice Degamo, said Reyes and her late husband were longtime friends and collaborators in public service in Negros Oriental.

“Their friendship and collaboration were emblematic of their dedication to public service and their shared vision for the betterment of our province. Together, they worked tirelessly to uplift the lives of our people and address the challenges our community faced,” Janice said.

Upon choosing Reyes as his running mate in 2021, Degamo had said: “I choose Guido kay naa sa iyang kasingkasing ang tinuod nga pagka-public servant (because his heart is one of a true public servant). He is generous. He wants to help people.”

San Jose town mayor Nick Logronio said in a Facebook post that Reyes was an “exemplary public servant with a kind heart and immense love for all his fellow NegOrenses, his passing will weigh heavily on all our hearts.”

Siaton Mayor Fritz Diaz remembered Reyes as a generous person, and shared an anecdote to highlight this.

I observed nga bisan lisud siya og kwarta at times, pwede siya mangutang basta naay maospital og naay talabangun, i remember pa nga naay namaligya og litson unya dako kaayu ang litson wala nahalin kadlawun na ingun siya nako tunga ta mayor ato pakyawun kay louy ang galitson ending taas kaayu ako bp pagka ugma kinaon namo sa litson,” Diaz said in a Facebook post.

(I observed that even if he struggled with money sometimes, you could borrow money from him if someone was in the hospital and needed help. I remember someone was selling a big lechon that wasn’t sold even early in the morning. He said let’s split the cost and buy all of it because he pitied the lechon vendor. So what happened was, my blood pressure shot up from eating all that lechon.)

Reyes was last in the national news in 2019 when he testified at a Senate inquiry into Negros Oriental killings, when Guihulngan became a hot spot of violence.

Reyes was already known to have health issues prior to becoming governor in March, although his family did not disclose what his illness was.

Following Reyes’ death, Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria became the fourth Negros Oriental governor in less than a year. Former governor Henry Pryde Teves was unseated by Degamo in a Comelec decision in October 2022, while Degamo was killed in March 2023.

Although Sagarbarria is from a rival political camp and allied with the Teveses, there was a peaceful transition of power.

Immediately after Reyes’ death, provincial administrator Karen Molas said she had turned over documents related to his ongoing programs to Sagarbarria.

Sagarbarria also ordered flags to be flown at half mast in the province in honor of the late governor.

According to a schedule posted by the provincial government of Negros Oriental, a memorial service and public viewing will take place at the provincial capitol in Dumaguete City from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday.

Following the service, his remains will be taken to his hometown in Guihulngan. –

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at