Mayor Lucilo Bayron has hinted that he could still be in the mayoral race and position until 2028 due to the “involuntary interruption” of his second term.
Mayor Bayron said during his state of the city address (SOCA) on September 17 that his dismissal in February 2017 implemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) became an opportunity for him based on a recent ruling of the Supreme Court (SC).
“Na-dismiss tayo ng Ombudsman noong second term natin February 21, 2017, at ito ay in-implement ng DILG. Natanggal tayo bilang punong-lungsod nang apat na buwan. Na-reinstate tayo nang June 22, 2017. Ang second term natin, ‘yong 2016 hanggang 2019 ay ‘involuntarily interrupted’ kaya itong 2019 hanggang 2022 ay hindi ko pa last term kundi first term pa lang. Puwede pa akong mag-mayor hanggang 2028. Ito ay base sa Supreme Court ruling, bagung-bago pa lang lumabas, wala pa ngang isang linggo – ‘yong Tallado vs COMELEC (Commission on Elections),” said Bayron.
In a phone interview with city administrator and legal counsel Atty. Arnel Pedrosa after the SOCA, he said this is actually good news to the supporters of Bayron.
Pedrosa said the “Tallado vs COMELEC” case, which opted to somewhat “reset” to its first term of service any involuntarily interrupted term of office of a public servant.
The SC ruling, which rejected the petition for disqualification filed by a political opponent against Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo Tallado, allowed him to run on the recent election that he eventually won.
“Ito ‘yong Tallado versus COMELEC. Si governor Tallado ng Camarines Norte, suspended siya for a period of three years more or less. Then, he ran for the fourth time and won as governor of Camarines Norte. Ang argumento ni governor Tallado ay because he was suspended for more than three years there was an involuntary interruption sa kanyang term of office. Sabi ng Supreme Court Tallado is correct and the COMELEC is wrong,” said Pedrosa.
Pedrosa said Bayron will benefit from this ruling because his second term in office was also involuntarily interrupted, thus the same ruling could be applied.
Pedrosa said their current position is that Bayron will still run in the next two upcoming elections.
The case that led to Bayron’s earlier dismissal began from a complaint lodged before the Ombudsman by a certain Aldrin Madreo on November 22, 2013.
Madreo alleged that Bayron unlawfully hired his son, Karl, to head the city’s environmental arm Bantay Puerto and separately the City’s VIP Security Task Force without declaring their kinship.
However, Bayron claimed that his signature on Karl’s employment contract, which did not identify their relationship, was just a mere case of oversight.
Only a month later, on February 2, Bayron filed a petition against the Ombudsman’s ruling before the Court of Appeals (CA), and requested for issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Ombudsman.
Bayron and his son Karl was dismissed from service after on the same month after he officially received the implementation of the Ombudsman’s dismissal order issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Former city vice mayor Luis Marcaida III was advised by DILG to assume the office of the mayor by operation of law and swore as the new city mayor in front of Palawan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Angelo Arizala.
However, in an 11-page ruling dated March 20, the Ombudsman granted the motion for reconsideration filed by Karl and lowered their penalty to three months of suspension without pay.
The same ruling downgraded Bayron’s liability to “simple dishonesty”, which is a lesser penalty.
The order also dismissed all criminal charges filed against Bayron and his son.
Three months later, on June 22, DILG reinstated Bayron.
Meanwhile, Bayron also said during his SOCA Tuesday that his political adversaries have filed around 28 administrative and criminal cases against him, of which 22 were already dismissed by the court.
He said these cases were filed at the City Prosecutor’s Office (CPO), Ombudsman, Regional Trial Court (RTC), and Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
“Sa 28 na kasong ito, 22 na ang nadi-dismiss so may anim na lang na natitira na mga walang kakuwenta-kuwentang kaso naman,” said Bayron.