Agoo mayor gets fresh term after Comelec cancels rival's candidacy

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2022 08:45 PM

The Commission on Elections headquarters  ABS-CBN News/File
The Commission on Elections headquarters in Intramuros, Manila. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The mayor of Agoo, La Union has been given a fresh term after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) cancelled the certificate of candidacy of her rival in the May 9 polls over residency issues.

Agoo's board of canvassers reconvened on Tuesday at the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, Manila to annul the proclamation of winning candidate Frank Ong Sibuma, proclaiming Stefanie Ann Eriguel Calongcagon instead as the duly elected mayor of the town.

The poll body's special second division earlier filed a resolution to cancel Sibuma's certificate of candidacy due to "material misrepresentation," granting the petition filed by an Alma Panelo. 

Sibuma claimed he had been living in Agoo for more than a year before the May 9 elections but was a resident of neighboring Aringay town.

Comelec said Sibuma was served a copy of the decision on May 16 via e-mail, but did not file a motion for reconsideration within the five-day prescribed period. 

This made the poll body division's decision final and executory.

Calongcagon, who has been mayor of Agoo since 2016 and will now be on her third and final term as mayor, garnered 16,603 votes during the May 2022 elections while Sibuma garnered more than 21,000 votes. 

“The Commission had determined that the said person had committed material misrepresentation stating that he is a resident of the municipality in question but it had been proven during the hearings that he was not a qualified resident of that municipality," Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said.