December 10, 2022

Vice Mayor Djarma Rafael of Paracelis, Mountain Province has been appointed as acting mayor pending the Commission on Elections’ issuance of a resolution on the appeal to resolve the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of the town’s elected mayor.

“You, as vice mayor of said municipality, shall assume the Office of the Mayor in an acting capacity without prejudice to the Comelec’s resolution of the motion for reconsideration,” said Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cordillera Director Araceli San Jose in a letter to Rafael, sent to her lawyer, former Baguio City Prosecutor Elmer Sagsago.

The DILG directive stemmed from Rafael’s inquiry to dispel confusion among the public on the status of Paracelis mayor-elect Avelino Amangyen.

Amangyen won the mayoralty race against then mayor Marcos Ayangwa after garnering 9,220 votes against the 5,185 votes of the latter in the May 9 polls.

But Amangyen’s COC was nullified by the Second Division of the Comelec on April 19 for non-disclosure of a previous conviction which carried a penalty of reclusion temporal and an accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office.

Amangyen subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration, which has yet to be resolved by the Comelec.

San Jose said considering the issue lies in the hands of the Comelec en banc and the controversy on who should sit as mayor remains in question, Rafael shall assume the office in an acting capacity.

“In the event that no resolution on the motion for reconsideration will be issued by the Comelec noon of June 30, there shall exist a temporary vacancy in the position of the mayor… the vice mayor shall then assume as the mayor in an acting capacity,” San Jose said.

It was not immediately known if Amangyen took his oath on or before June 30. – PNA