Maramag mayor resigns; hubby eyed for town council seat

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/06 March) Mayor Alicia Resus of Maramag town in southern Bukidnon is cutting her term after she tendered her resignation on February 28 effective March 8 due to “poor health”.

Ronelo Alvarez, provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government confirmed the report to Bukidnon News, adding the mayor “availed of early retirement due to health reasons”.

Resus, 56, has been reported to be sick and has been on leave for several months. No health bulletin so far was made public by the municipal government or the family of the mayor to state her health condition.

Alvarez told UMBN Radyo Ukay Wednesday Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri accepted her resignation as direct supervisor of municipal mayors. Lawyer Nestor Cajes, acting provincial administrator, confirmed Resus tendered resignation but refused to give further comments to avoid pre-empting Zubiri’s pronouncement.

Resus, who has a Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Araneta University Foundation, is serving her second term as mayor. She previously served as vice mayor from 2001 to 2010.

By rule of succession, vice mayor Jose Obedencio, a partymate of Resus and Zubiri at the Bukidnon Paglaum Party (BPP) will be elevated as mayor. Obedencio has served as town mayor from 2001 to 2010.

Maramag’s number 1 municipal councilor Jose Joel Doromal, a lawyer, who belonged to the Aksyon Demokratiko party, will be elevated as new vice mayor. With this, there will be a vacant seat in the eight-member municipal council.

Board member Gordon Torres, a former municipal councilor from Maramag and a BPP member, told Radyo Ukay Wednesday that Engr. Bing Resus, the mayor’s husband is eyed to be appointed to take the vacant seat, the eighth seat, in the council caused by Doromal’s elevation.

An initial report from DILG Bukidnon cited that turnover of responsibility is scheduled on March 11. Alvarez told Radyo Ukay the elevated officials will take oath before Zubiri.

Section 44 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code said “if a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or mayor, the vice-governor or vice-mayor concerned shall become the governor or mayor. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice-governor, mayor, or vice-mayor, the highest ranking sanggunian member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking sanggunian member shall become the governor, vice-governor, mayor or vice-mayor, as the case may be.”

For vacancy in the municipal council, Section 45B of the Code however provided that “only the nominee of the political party under which the sanggunian member concerned had been elected and whose elevation to the position next higher in rank created the last vacancy in the sanggunian shall be appointed in the manner hereinabove provided. The appointee shall come from the same political party as that of the sanggunian member  who caused the vacancy and shall serve the unexpired term of the vacant office.”

Philippine jurisprudence, particularly Supreme Court decision on Navarro and Tamayo vs. CA (Court of Appeals), et al; GR-141307-March 28-2001 stressed that the party who will appoint the replacement for the 8th member of the council is that of the official who caused the vacancy as stated in Section 45B of the Local Government Code. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net with reports from Ching Castuera)