February 1, 2023

The political impasse of who is the rightful mayor of Paracelis, Mountain Province has ended with the Commission on Elections en banc affirming the decision of its Second Division cancelling the certificate of candidacy (COC) of Avelino Amangyen, the town’s former mayor, who won in the May national and local elections. He got 9, 220 votes.
Dr. Marcos Ayangwa, who got the second highest number of votes; with 5,185; was proclaimed as the duly elected mayor on Nov. 25.  
Ayangwa took his oath before Paracelis-based lawyer Larry Fritz Signabon.
Ayangwa’s proclamation and his eventual taking of oath for his second term automatically annulled the proclamation of Amangyen, whose COC was cancelled prior to the May 9 elections for misrepresentation, according to election lawyer JP Martin.
Amangyen has been convicted by final judgment for violating the Revised Forestry Reform Code and theft. His conviction carried accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding elective positions.
Amangyen did not declare these facts in his COC, which prompted the filing of a disqualification case against the former mayor.
Cancelled COCs are deemed that a candidate has never filed his/her candidacy at all, which means votes cast in favor of the candidate with cancelled COC  are considered stray.
The candidate who got the second highest number of votes will be the one proclaimed, Martin said.
“With these developments, we hope that the issues surrounding election of leaders in Paracelis are already closed so that the people of Paracelis may now move forward and the officials shall start performing their mandates,” Martin said.
Meanwhile, incoming municipal administrator Van Talawec told the Midland Courier that the mayor will immediately convene a management committee meeting on Monday, Nov. 28, for the transition of functions since acting mayor Djarma Rafael handled the affairs of the municipality for the past five months.
Rafael won as vice mayor during the recent elections.
Ayangwa will also submit the appointment of his confidential employees during the meeting, Talawec added. – Rimaliza A. Opiña