Hundreds surround Lanao del Norte town hall
OZAMIZ CITY—Hundreds of people have surrounded the town hall of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, to show support for embattled Mayor Rommel Arnado, who is facing possible ouster after the Supreme Court ruled that his candidacy in the 2010 elections was invalid.
Arnado’s supporters started massing outside the town hall Tuesday afternoon and held a vigil in the evening. New batches of supporters replaced those who held a vigil by Wednesday morning.
“The people were caught by surprise by the Supreme Court decision. I think they are not yet prepared to see Arnado gone from his post,” said local journalist Angel Estrella, a Kauswagan resident.
In an April 16 ruling, the Supreme Court voided Arnado’s candidacy in the 2010 elections on account of his having dual citizenship—Philippine and American.
In light of the ruling, former provincial board member Casan Maquiling told the Inquirer through text message that he was preparing to assume the position of mayor of Kauswagan “as soon as possible.”
Upon voiding Arnado’s candidacy, the Supreme Court ruled that Maquiling was the rightful winner of the seven-way mayoral race.
Maquiling is seeking the gubernatorial seat in the May 13 elections under the Liberal Party.
The Inquirer learned that Arnado has been consulting with his lawyers since Tuesday on what legal moves to take.
Arnado is seeking reelection under the Liberal Party.