Amid the ongoing controversy on Panglao’s mayoralty, the dismissed chief executive of the town, Leonila Montero, announced on Tuesday her bid for the municipality’s mayoral seat during the 2019 elections.
Montero however will no longer be running with Pedro Fuertes, her running mate and vice-mayoral candidate during the 2016 polls, as both continued to be at loggerheads with their respective claims on the town’s top government post.
According to Montero, her entire slate for the 2019 midterm elections has been completed.
She however did not name any of those included in her lineup including her running mate, noting that the roster will be made known during the filing of certificates of candidacy next month.
Montero who will be running under the Nacionalista Party was on her second term as Panglao mayor when she was ordered dismissed by the Ombudmsan earlier this year.
She was found guilty of grave misconduct and was meted out with dismissal and perpetual disqualification from holding public office, allowing Fuertes, who was the elected vice mayor, to take over as mayor.
However, Montero earlier this month announced her re-assumption of the mayoralty on basis that the Court of Appeals downgraded the Ombudsman’s findings in her case from grave back to simple misconduct.
Fuertes has since challenged Montero’s return with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) favoring the former.
The DILG, through a memorandum, has called Montero’s return “premature” and declared Fuertes as the town’s lawful mayor.
The memorandum was projected to end the standoff between the two officials but Montero remained defiant calling the DILG’s declaration “illegal” and saying that she will not honor the department’s “decision.”
Montero is the second person to officially announce their candidacy for Panglao’s mayoral post next to last-term Board Member Venzencio Arcamo who last week said that he will be running for mayor of the town with former councilor Jojo Arcay as his running mate. (R. Tutas)