The camp of Mayor Lucilo Bayron has asserted that the Court of Appeals (CA) decision will prevail and Bayron himself will keep his current post until a ruling from the Supreme Court overturns it.
City Legal Officer Arnel Pedrosa said the CA’s reversal of Ombudsman dismissal order exonerated Bayron of his case, making him as the city’s “legitimate and official mayor.”
“Sana hindi maguluhan ang taumbayan. ‘Wag na lang sila makinig sa mga nagsasabing dalawa ang mayor dahil hindi totoo ‘yon – isa lang ang mayor,” said Pedrosa in a press conference Friday, August 11.
This came after Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III on Thursday took oath as city mayor before Judge Ambrosio de Luna of the Regional Trial Court Branch 51, with his camp insisting that the CA’s recent ruling Bayron’s case “was not final and executory.”
“The CA ruling did not state it is final and executory, because it is normal that such a decision can still be appealed by the complainant – which means in effect pa rin ‘yung Ombudsman ruling,” an adviser to Marcaida, who asked not to be identified, earlier told Palawan News.
In a local radio, interior and local government secretary Catalino Cuy said his agency is still recognizing Bayron as Puerto Princesa mayor.
Marcaida, in a separate press conference, explained that his decision to take an oath as mayor was the “right thing to do”.
“This is for the best interest of the people. This is not to sow confusion or trouble,” Marcaida said
Bayron brushed aside Marcaida’s move to take an oath, stating that while he considered it as “usurpation of authority”, he will not to seek legal action against his former ally.
“Napakaraming aasikasuhin natin para magpaistorbo pa d’yan,” Bayron said, but added that he will not prevent his supporters from filing a case against Marcaida.
“Kung gusto nila, di ko naman sila pipigilan na gawin ‘yon,” he added.
Marcaida, meanwhile, declined to elaborate further on his decision to take oath, saying he will leave the matter to his lawyers. He declined accusations by Bayron’s camp that he was “eager” to become mayor.
“Hindi po ako atat maging mayor; ako po ang biktima dito dahil hanggang ngayon ay naguguluhan din ako,” said Marcaida.
City Legal Officer Pedrosa warned Marcaida that he will be liable for “abandonment of duty” if he stops performing his tasks as vice mayor. (With reports from Kia Johanna Lamo)