Incoming Araceli town mayor Noel Beronio, who was belatedly proclaimed winner by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) as the winning candidate during the 2019 mayoral elections over erstwhile sitting mayor Sue Cudilla, took his oath of office Monday.
Beronio, 54, told Palawan News Monday he took his oath before Judge Paul B. Jagmis Jr., executive judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Roxas, Palawan, after the court granted his motion for the writ of execution declaring him as the winner in the May 2019 local elections.
“Nakapag-oath na ako kay Judge Jagmis. Pag dumating ang proper time at proper authority na magserve ng [court] order, sila na ang nakakaalam,” Beronio said.
Beronio added however that the schedule of formally assuming office is yet to be determined citing “security reasons”.
“Nakita ko rin sa social media na may mga hinarang na mga heavy equipment doon sa munisipyo. Baka nagkamali lang sila ng park,” Beronio said in jest when asked to comment on the Facebook posts that surfaced online last week.
Upon assumption of office, Beronio said he will focus on the continuity of COVID-19 crisis management as guided by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).
Beronio was on his second term as the Araceli mayor, which was “interrupted” due to the election contest. He added that he has no immediate plans on future re-elections as he will “let the people of Araceli decide”.
Beronio filed the election protest against Cudilla, 50, on the ground of “anomaly” on the decrypted ballots from Barangays Dalayawan and Taluto. Judge Anna Leah Y. Tiongson-Mendoza, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 164 on March 3 ruled in favor of Beronio based on the manual count of the election returns from two villages. Beronio garnered 3,502, while Cudilla got 3,498 votes.
Beronio and then-challenger Cudilla received the same number of votes, 3,495, as the official tally concluded during the May 2019 local elections. The board of canvassers ordered to set the deadlock through a toss coin which was subsequently won by Cudilla in a three out of three sets she referred to as “will of God”.
Cudilla to declined to issue a statement saying, “Hindi po muna ako magpapa-interview.”