MARCOS, Ilocos Norte, July 7–For several days since last July 1, the political controversy in this remote eastern town of Ilocos Norte has hogged the national limelight through the tri-media (newspaper, TV and radio) due to the issue on two feuding “mayors” who wanted to rule the municipal government here. So far, police said no violent incident was reported amid apparent minor tension among loyal supporters from both camps.
Sources said, however, the row is expected to be resolved soonest to install the legitimate mayor who will serve for the next three years. At press time, it was learned that top officials of DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) in coordination with Comelec officers may arrive here any working day next week (July 8-12) in an effort to end the controversy.
Townsfolk asked: Will then reelectionist mayor Salvador Pillos, who lost in the last May 13 election, retain his post? Or will Pillos’ rival Arsenio Agustin, who won in the said election but disqualified by Comelec en banc, come out the town’s real chief executive?
Behind this hullabaloo, two brilliant lawyers, one is young and the other one is older, verbally clashed in public as covered by the local media while both defended their respective clients in connection with the “who’s-the-lawful- mayor-to-rule-Marcos-town” controversy.
Veteran lawyer Ferdinand Ignacio of Paoay town and counsel of “Mayor” Salvador Pillos, said today through radio interview that the recent filing by “Mayor” Arsenio Agustin with the Comelec Manila an urgent motion to quash the Comelec’s June 18 writ of execution was a delaying tactics.
Ignacio, known for his loud voice when arguing, tagged Atty. Eric Garvida of Bangui town and youthful counsel of Agustin, as a mere”provincial lawyer” during an earlier dialogue at the municipal hall here.
Unfazed, Garvida spoke in moderate voice and maintained his composure. He admitted being a country lawyer to cut short Ignacio’s alleged verbal attack.
Garvida said the Comelec-issued writ of execution cancelling the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) of Agustin on the allegation of the latter’s dual citizenship was already “moot and academic”.
Garvida explained that his client Agustin has already been proclaimed winner in the last election by the municipal board of canvassers and likewise, Agustin had taken his oath of office before Gov. Imee Marcos, hence, the writ of execution was “moot and academic”.#