Mayor who eluded arrest reclaims seat

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SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ—Mayor Efren Alvarez on Thursday returned to the City Hall to reassume his post after securing documents from the Department of the Interior and Local Government showing that he is the legitimate mayor of this city.

Vice Mayor Ester Lazaro, who took her oath as mayor on Nov. 5 because of the mayor’s prolonged absence, stepped down to give way to Alvarez.

The Sandiganbayan had convicted Alvarez in 2009 over anomalies in the construction of a shopping mall on a government property here. The antigraft court found Alvarez guilty of granting unwarranted benefits to a private construction firm, which won the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract for a P240-million multilevel shopping mall on a government property despite a problem with its license.

The mayor had appealed his conviction at the Supreme Court, but the graft court ordered his arrest on Oct. 15 after the high court junked his appeal.

In a memorandum he issued on Thursday, Alvarez said: “I am the only duly elected mayor of the Science City of Muñoz with a mandate to serve its people until noon of June 30, 2013.”

Alvarez, in his memorandum, attached a Nov. 12 letter from Interior Undersecretary Rafael Antonio Santos saying that the DILG “recognizes your (Alvarez’s) re-assumption into office and your incumbency as mayor until otherwise declared by the Supreme Court or the Sandiganbayan.”

Another document attached to the memorandum was a copy of a Nov. 27 resolution by the fourth division of the Sandiganbayan, recalling the arrest warrant it issued against Alvarez.

The Sandiganbayan, in issuing the resolution, cited a resolution of the first division of the Supreme Court “which gave due course to his (Alvarez) second motion for reconsideration, ordered the referral of his case to the Supreme Court en banc and directed the lifting of the entry of judgment made therein.” Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon

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  • http://pedestrianobserver.blogspot.com/ Political Jaywalker

    This is taking the right of the accused to the most stupidest level, LOL. He has been convicted and ordered arrested and yet he is being allowed by the DILG to resume his post? To do what exactly, more anomalous government contracts?

    A convicted person is still a convict even if he appealed his case. Allowing the mayor to assume his post is a travesty and perversion of justice. Stop treating the government as if it was a Mafia organization wherein rules are bended to suit the mobster purpose.

    • kulittwit

       Did you read the last 2 paragraphs?

      the Sandiganbayan recalled the arrest warrant and gave due course to his second motion for reconsideration and referred the case to the SC.

      Masakit man isipin pero ito po ang tinatawag na due process.

      • http://pedestrianobserver.blogspot.com/ Political Jaywalker

         It does not matter, he was convicted and therefore an appeal or motion did not overturn his conviction. The judge who issued the recall of the arrest warrant should be investigated for a issuing a questionable recall of an arrest warrant to the convicted or guilty mayor. This is precisely why our so-called “due process” is nothing but a Mafiosi justice where criminals are given so much leeway which is really not about rights anymore but protection racket afforded the accused even if they were found guilty.

  • palakasantayo

    If Panfilo Lacson can do it, he can do it too. So… who is next?

  • Garo Ungaro

    when the interpretation of the legality of the law…coming from all sides of the table this the result…convicted…or allegation or not he’s not suppose to serve.he has no business being the mayor he’s a convict…when power is at stake…this a slap and a joke to the legal system..a distraction to the daily life of the community…only in the philippines…

  • repapips

    ang dami kasing nagtatanga-tangahan na judge dito sa pinas. pera lang ang katapat. cj sereno, let’s see how you weed out these kind of people in judicial robes. pity this country’s judicial system.

    “convicted” ran for office and won, hello comelec?. convicted. doesn’t really matter if the warrant of arrest was revoked/suspended/recalled, the judgment is still guilty. how stupid. 

    hindi malilinis ang bansang ito dahil lahat ng sulok may bayaran. 

  • kismaytami

    Clever boy, riding the system flawlessly for his own benefit. He should teach this tactic to gloria.

  • speedstream2

    What is it they say about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing? Or is this simply another case of the law being twisted whichever way to suit vested interests? And we expect people to respect the law and the institutions that must uphold the law?

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