Gwen conveys confidence in Naga City under new mayor

GOV. Gwendolyn Garcia believes that the economic growth and development of the City of Naga will be sustained despite the sudden resignation of Mayor Valdemar Chiong.

The governor on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, said the southern Cebu city will “continue to be in the hands of a capable and worthy leader” in the person of Vice Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong.

“He (Valdemar Chiong) has his own reasons but I believe that he has faith and confidence in the vice mayor who will take over, and I share the same faith and confidence in the ability of soon-to-be mayor (Kristine Vanessa) Chiong in sustaining Naga’s growth and progress,” Garcia said.

Mayor Valdemar formally tendered his resignation before the governor on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.

“This has never been an easy decision to make as I have been entrusted by my constituents to lead this city, but some personal reasons have prompted me to do so. Rest assured all programs and projects that my administratiom has started will be continued by my successor,” read a portion or Mayor Valdemar’s resignation letter.

Earlier, he denied that his resignation had something to do with the 2014 graft case filed against him, which is pending before the Sandiganbayan.

Chiong will leave the city’s leadership to his daughter, Vice Mayor Kristine. His older brother Virgilio, who is first councilor, will serve as her vice mayor.

His resignation will take effect on March 16.

Garcia described the mayor as an “effective and hardworking” public servant, and recalled how Chiong had been at the forefront particularly during Naga’s transition to cityhood.

As town mayor, Chiong and First District Rep. Eduardo Gullas campaigned for Naga’s cityhood despite the opposition of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) then. Through the Supreme Court’s intervention, Naga along with 15 other towns were granted cityhood status in 2007.

Chiong became a mayor after succeeding his brother Ferdinand, who died in office in 2006. Chiong was then elected mayor for three consecutive terms, from 2007 to 2016.

He was later replaced by his daughter Kristine. In the 2019 elections, father and daughter switched positions, with Chiong winning the mayoral race. (RTF)