New mayor to take over after rival gets disqualified in Cebu

Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 12 2017 09:25 PM

The provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Cebu on Friday served Bantayan Mayor Arthur Despi a memorandum of the Writ of Execution mandating him to vacate his office.

CEBU—The newly-proclaimed Mayor of Bantayan town is finally set to take his post. 

Mayor Ian Christopher Escario could now take his post after the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued a writ of execution enforcing the disqualification of his political nemesis Arthur Espi, whose certificate of candidacy (COC) for the May 2016 elections was revoked for "material misrepresentation." 

Escario previously filed for a petition to cancel Despi’s COC, alleging that the latter had falsified his Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance.

On Friday, the provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Cebu served Despi a memorandum of the Writ of Execution mandating him to vacate his office.

Despi's staff received the document as he was not in his office when the memorandum was served. 

Despi, with 16,494 votes, had edged out Escario's bid in the polls, edging out his 12,043 votes. But Despi's disqualification rendered Escario the duly-elected town mayor, per COMELEC's ruling. 

Despi said he has already accepted his fate but insisted that he did not falsify any documents.

He questioned Escario's proclamation as Mayor and said Vice Mayor Antonio Montemar should be the one to take his place. 

On Monday, Montemar submitted a quo warranto petition before the Bogo City Regional Trial Court in an effort to challenge Escario's proclamation.

DILG-7 Director Rene Burdeos said that as the Supreme Court has yet to rule on Despi's bid for a temporary restraining order, the Writ of Execution shall take effect.

Escario said he was taking things one at a time. He said some town hall employees would have to be replaced with new ones, following the change in administration.

Ian Escario is set to take over after Bantayan Mayor Arthur Despi was disqualified over "material misrepresentation."