June 14, 2024

The former mayor of Paracelis, Mountain Province, currently a fugitive after he was convicted for illegal logging and theft and was disqualified by the Commission on Elections, won in his comeback bid in the mayoralty race.

Former Paracelis mayor Avelino Amangyen, who has not actively campaigned because of a standing warrant of arrest against him, won against incumbent Mayor Marcos Ayangwa.

Amangyen garnered 9,220 votes while Ayangwa garnered 5,185 votes.

Municipal Elections Officer Richard Buenaventura proclaimed Amangyen in absentia last May 10.

The Municipal Board of Canvassers counted Amangyen’s votes as his disqualification order from the Comelec from holding public office is not yet final and executory.

Buenaventura said Amangyen has appealed his disqualification.

Pending the Commission’s issuance of a decision on the appeal, Buenaventura said Amang-yen will be recognized as the duly elected mayor.

In a resolution issued April 19, the Comelec Second Division has disqualified Amangyen for material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy (COC) when he ticked “no” in his COC to the question of whether he has been found liable for an offense which carries the accessory penalty of permanent disqualification to hold public office, which has become final and executory.

Amangyen was convicted in 2013 for violating Section 77 of the Forestry Reform Code for illegal logging where he was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years and one day to maximum of 20 years imprisonment. He was also found guilty of qualified theft.

Accessory penalties for the crimes he committed are deprivation of his right to vote and the right to be voted.

The Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court affirmed his conviction in January 2018 and April 2018, respectively.

Amangyen, who is yet to serve his sentence, has a standing warrant of arrest issued on Oct. 25, 2021 by Regional Trial Court-Bontoc Branch 35 Pairing Judge Sergio Angngaynay, Jr. – Rimaliza A. Opiña