PUERTO PRINCESA, Philipines – Lucilo Bayron has regained the city mayor seat in the Palawan capital on Thursday, June 22.
The Department of the Interior and Local Governance (DILG) reinstated Bayron in accordance with the recent Ombudsman decision withdrawing its previous dismissal order for Bayron over a case of “serious dishonesty and grave misconduct.”
Until Bayron's reinstatement, Luis Marcaida III, the vice mayor, was city mayor.
The case of Bayron, which was downgraded to simple dishonesty, stemmed from a complaint questioning his decision to hire his son, Karl as his security personnel head during his first term in 2013 without disclosing their filial relationship in the contract. (READ: DILG removes Bayron as Puerto Princesa mayor)
The Ombudsman’s recent ruling granted the father and son’s motion for reconsideration and reduced the penalty to a 3-month suspension. All criminal charges against them were also dismissed.
Bayron had already rendered the suspension penalty since vacating the post in February this year.
He took his oath before Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez on Thursday afternoon at the provincial capitol before heading to the city hall where his supporters awaited him.
DILG Regional Director Florida Maranan Dijan served the order to Marcaida, who initially refused to receive the directive, questioning its validity.
Marcaida claimed it was an ambiguous order since his previous position as vice mayor has yet to be declared vacant, making him unable to regain the said post at the moment.
After a tension-filled confrontation with the authorities, Marcaida yielded the post but vowed to elevate his petition to the Court of Appeals to seek clarification on the Ombudsman’s ruling.
Bayron’s leadership as city mayor was also challenged by former mayor Edward Hagedorn in a recall election in 2015. Bayron emerged victor through a 5,000-vote difference over his former ally but now stiff rival Hagedorn. (READ: Cheers, disappointment in Puerto Princesa recall polls) – Rappler.com