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Appeals court orders release from jail of mayor convicted of gun ban violation

ILOILO CITY—Convicted Mayor John Lloyd Pacete of Bugasong town, Antique province was released from jail on Thursday (Dec. 19) on orders of the Court of Appeals (CA).

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Western Visayas said Pacete can assume office upon his release.

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Pacete, who has been detained at the district jail in the capital town of San Jose since April 26, was released in the morning, according to Eduardo Fortaleza, one of his legal counsels.

The appellate court had ordered Pacete’s temporary release after it granted his petition for bail pending the resolution of his appeal on his conviction for election gun ban violation.

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Pacete’s lawyers posted a P24,000 bail last Dec.15.

Judge Mario Andres Jr., of the Bugasong Antique Regional Trial Court, had convicted Pacete last Feb. 27 of violating the gun ban during the 2016 elections.

The mayor had denied the charge.

Pacete was sentenced to imprisonment of up to two years. He was also disqualified from holding public office and voting.

The lower court also denied Pacete’s motion for reconsideration and canceled his bail.

He was reelected last May after he was allowed to file his certificate of candidacy as his conviction was not final and was still appealable.

But the DILG barred him from assuming office due to his detention and designated Vice Mayor Renante Dava as acting mayor.

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Ariel Iglesia, DILG Western Visayas director, said that Pacete can assume office as mayor if he is released from detention.

Edited by TSB
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TAGS: antique, CA, Gun ban, Jail, mayor
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