Escario assumes mayoralty seat
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday served the order for Bantayan town Mayor Arthur Despi to vacate the mayoralty seat.
DILG Cebu Provincial Director Jerome Gonzales brought the Writ of Execution issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc proclaiming his political rival Ian Christopher Escario as the town mayor, vice Despi who was disqualified on a technicality, which resulted in the cancellation of his Certificate of Candidacy.
Despi was not at the municipal hall as he was reportedly in Manila. His receiving clerk received the order at around 12:55 p.m.
“In this regard, Respondent Arthur Escarro Despi is hereby directed to comply with herein implementation order by vacating his office, clear himself of monies and properties in his charge and cease performance of powers and functions appurtenant thereto, immediately upon receipt,” read the
DILG order signed by Central Visayas regional director Rene Burdeos.
Escario later arrived at the municipal hall and signed the same order at 1:19 p.m.
Immediately upon his assumption, Escario started implementing some initial changes in the municipality, including the transfer of some employees and the termination of other employees and officials appointed by Despi.
“We will soon be meeting and consulting the department heads and leaders to assess what needs to be done. We will see after,” Escario said in a phone interview.
Some officials were also asked to turn over the keys to their respective offices as well as other municipal properties under their custody.
“I am strict when it comes to discipline and cleanliness,” Escario said.
He assured though that while some officials and employees are expected to tender their resignations upon his assumption, he will not withhold their mid-year bonus which is expected to be released on Monday, May 15.
“Kalma lang ta. Hinay-hinay lang ta og balik. Dili lang ta magyaga-yaga sa atong mga silingan para walay gubot. Human na ang politika,” he said as a message to his supporters and constituents.
(Let us remain calm. We’ll make our comeback slowly. Let us not do anything rash against our neighbors to avoid any commotion. The time for politics is over.)
He said that his election protest was against Despi and not against the people of Bantayan town.
CDN tried to get Despi’s comment on Escario’s assumption of office yesterday but calls and texts to his phone were unanswered.
Contrary to expectations, there was no commotion when Escario took over the mayoralty seat from Despi.
Chief Insp. Stephen Amamag-id, Bantayan Police chief, said there were no rallies or protests.
“Malinawon ra man pag-serve sa order. Pero nag augment ta og force (It was peaceful. But we augmented our forces),” Amamag-id said.
At least seven personnel from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) and other police personnel from the neighboring towns of Sta. Fe and Maridejos police stations came to assist the Bantayan police.
Meanwhile, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Bogo has directed the Comelec in the province to answer within 10 days the Quo Warranto complaint filed by Bantayan Vice Mayor Tony Montemar.
Comelec Provincial Supervisor Lionel Castillano said that they were impleaded by Montemar.
“Sad to say gi-implead mi niya (Montemar). Ambot nganong giapil mi niya. Ang parties unta sa kaso, sila ra man (I don’t know why he impleaded us in the case.),” Castillano said.
Castillano said aside from him as Comelec provincial supervisor, Montemar also included the Board of Canvassers, the Regional Director, the election officer, DILG and even the director of the Cebu Provincial Police Office.
Castillano said that they were ordered by the court to answer the allegations of Montemar.
“Motubag ra pud mi nga we are not the proper party to be impleaded. Ilaha ra unta na,” Castillano said.
(We will just answer that we are not the proper party to be impleaded.)
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