Nueva Ecija city has no mayor as court issues warrant


SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ—After having two officials tangling over the mayor’s seat three months ago, this city is now without a mayor.

Vice Mayor Ester Lazaro said she would not assume the mayoral seat even as Mayor Efren Alvarez has gone on another prolonged absence after the Sandiganbayan issued a warrant for his arrest on graft charges on Feb. 15. This prompted the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to run after him.

Superintendent Michael Angelo Zuñiga, city police chief, said a team from NBI and the police served the arrest warrant on Alvarez in his office at the City Hall and in his house in Barangay Poblacion South here on Jan. 21, but “the accused was nowhere to be found.”

“Accordingly, [Alvarez] last reported for work on Feb. 19,” Zuñiga said.

But Lazaro said she would wait for an official order from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to assume the post.

“I will remain vice mayor and perform my duties as vice mayor,” she said.

In 2009, the Sandiganbayan found Alvarez guilty of granting unwarranted benefits to a private construction firm, which won the build-operate-transfer contract for a P240-million multilevel shopping mall on a government property despite a problem with its license.

The warrant was issued by the Sandiganbayan on February 15 this year after the Supreme Court’s first division issued a resolution on February  6 that denied, with finality, Alvarez’s motion for reconsideration.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • anojis4river

    excuse me hindi nakikipag-agawan ng pwesto yung vice mayor mali ang report mo

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos