BONTOC, Mtn. Province – There are now two governors in the province after two known personalities took their oaths of office in separate occasions here.
Atty. Kathy Jill Mayaen-Luis took her oath before Mayor Franklin Odsey last June 28, 2016 at the Provincial Plaza here.
Although the occasion was for the mass oath taking of elected provincial officials, Congressman Maximo Dalog and the elected Board Members of both Districts 1 and 2 took their oaths before Judge Luis Daoen of the Bontoc Municipal Circuit Trial Court.
Board Members for District 2 Francis Tauli, Romeo Pagedped, Donato Danglose, Salvador Dalang and for District 1 Raul Lapon, Stephen Afuyog, Cario Tamang, and Alfonso Kiat-ong took their oaths also before Judge Daoen.
Messages of reconciliation, unity and cooperation were voiced out to the applause of the audience.
Acting Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. reportedly took his oath earlier as Vice Governor before Judge Gaslito Dumpayan last June 18, 2016 at the Mansion, the official residence of the provincial governor in town.
A program for the turn-over ceremony was circulated at the offices wherein Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. is to turnover his position and responsibilities to Atty. Kathy Jill Mayaen-Luis as the new governor. There was no attached invitation letter.
However, Lacwasan issued Memorandum Order No. 4 dated June 29, 2016 informing the provincial offices that he, as chairman of the transition team, has not authorized such turnover ceremony and is the same therefore unofficial and irregular.
Earlier, Memorandum No.3 discouraged the participation of the officials and employees to the supposed turnover ceremony and enjoined the same to be at their workplaces or work assignments.
Last June 30, 2016 at 12:00 noon, Lacwasan took his oath as Governor before Judge Gaslito Dumpayan at the Provincial Capitol frontage, the same judge who administered his oath as Vice Governor.
In his oath taking ceremony, Governor Lacwasan was very emphatic as he invoked the rule of law of succession. He claim to be the rightful one to assume as governor, he being the elected vice governor and there being no governor.
Prior to the oath taking of Lacwasan, the supposed turn-over ceremony did not happen as the Mayaen camp has reportedly conceded after receiving a copy of the Injunction Order from the First Division of the Commission on Elections dated June 29, 2016 signed by Commissioners Christian Rober t Lim, Luie Tito Guia, and Rowena Amelia Guanzon.
The recent Order docketed as EPC NO. 2016-02 has dented a sigh of relief to the officers and employees at the Capitol who have been confused with the developments the day earlier.
Lacwasan in his statement after he took his oath thanked the Mayaen family as well as the supporters as the anticipated confusion and chaos did not happen.
The Writ of Preliminary Injunction issued states “ wherefore, premises considered, The Commission (First Division) hereby issues the Injunction order preventing respondent Kathy Jyll Mayaen aka Kathy Jyll M. Luis from assuming the gubernatorial post in Mountain Province and discharging the functions thereof. The duly elected Vice governor shall act as Acting Governor in accordance with Title II, Chapter II of Republic At No. 7160” otherwise known as the Local Government Code 0f 1991.
It is to be noted that Atty. Kathy Jyll Mayaen Luis substituted her father, Governor Leonard Mayaen who ran for reelection unopposed but who succumbed to cardiac during the campaign period, specifically on March 30, 2016.
The young Mayaen was proclaimed winner in the elections amidst questions on the legitimacy of her proclamation.
Thomas Tawagen petitioned the COMELEC for Quo Warranto and Indirect Contempt with Writ of Preliminary Injunction.
In the latest decision of the COMELEC cited that “the COMELEC First Division deems the prayer of the petitioner for the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction to be in order, as it finds the issues raised by the petitioner very serious.”
It further states. . .” the Commission, following the dictates of prudence and fair play, hereby GRANTS, pending the resolution of the main petition, the injunctive relief prayed for by the petition.”
Thousands of people from different municipalities, mostly from Bauko, employees of the capitol, and elements of peace keeping force, Army and PNP, witnessed the oath taking at the provincial capitol grounds here.
By Roger Sacyaten