Sevilla, Bohol has new mayor
The town of Sevilla, Bohol will have a new mayor starting this Wednesday (May 14) when the Commission on Election Manila would convene a new board of canvassers and declare 2013 mayoral candidate Ernesita B. Digal as the townâ€™s legitimate chief executive.
Digal, who garnered 2,624 votes as against Juliet Dano in the May 2013 elections, is expected to be proclaimed by Comelec Manila as the new mayor of Sevilla on May 14 even as the Supreme Court has not handed down its ruling on the issue.
The Comelec in an en banc resolution had cancelled Danoâ€™s certificate of candidacy. However, she was still proclaimed mayor of the town, and continues to function as of this writing.
Comelec said that since the Supreme Court has not issued a temporary restraining order (TRO), its decision on the fate of Dano and Digal is final and executory.
According to the Comelec, â€œSection 8 (2) of Resolution No. 9523, in relation to Section 13 (b), Rule 18 of the 1993 Comelec Rules of Procedure provides that a decision or resolution of the Commission en banc is deemed final and executory if no restraining order is issued by the Supreme Court.â€
â€œThe records do not show that an Order was issued by the Supreme Court restraining the execution of the assailed Resolution of the Commission en banc,â€ the Comelec said in its writ of execution dated May 6, 2014, and was signed by Comelec acting chairman Elias R. Yusoph.
The poll body has ordered that a Special Municipal Board of Canvassers â€“ to be composed of Atty. Abigail Justine Cuaresma-Lilagan (chairperson), Atty. Kimberley Joy Alzate-Cu (vice-chairman), Atty Genevieve V. Guevarra (member), and three support staff â€“ would convene on May 14, 2014 at the Comelec Session Hall in Manila â€œto proclaim Ernesita B. Digalâ€¦ as the duly elected mayor of Sevilla, Bohol.â€
Digal, represented by her two legal counsels, Atty. Menedio Thadeus P. Bernido and Atty. Teodoro M. Lagang, ran as mayor under the Liberal Party in the 2013 elections.
Bernido in an interview with Bohol Sunday Post has said that the decision of the Comelec is a reaffirmation of their long-standing position that Dano, after all, had no legal standing to have run as mayor of Sevilla.
But according to Atty. Handel Lagunay, counsel for Dano, the Comelec should have exercised â€œjudicial courtesyâ€ since the Supreme Court is yet to rule on its petition seeking for a TRO.
â€œWe donâ€™t expect this writ of execution,â€ Lagunay told the Post last night. â€œWe are surprised with the decision of the Comelec.â€
Lagunay stressed that proclaiming Digal as mayor of Sevilla is still inappropriate at this time. (MIKE ORTEGA LIGALIG)