Who will replace Mariano? Print
Saturday, 16 September 2017 16:06

By  bob jaldon

When ousted Councilor Charlie Mariano takes his final bow and delivers his farewell address, who will take his seat in the city council?

From the legal standpoint, Section 45 of the Local Government Code provides that permanent vacancies in the local Sangguniang (council), and when the resulting vacancy becomes permanent, shall be filled by appointment by the President (of the Philippines), through the Executive Secretary. Only the nominee of the political party under which the Sangguniang member concerned had been elected shall be appointed. The appointment requires a certificate of membership of the appointee and his nomination to the position issued by the highest official of the political party concerned.

In the case of Zamboanga city, if Mariano does not seek a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court within a five-day period from receipt of the en banc resolution of the Commission on Election disqualifying him as a member of the City Council for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, or the anti-bouncing check law, he will have to vacate his seat in the local legislative body.

When that happens, who will be his replacement? Locally, Congressman Celso L. Lobregat (PDP-Laban) is on leave-of-absence from his original political party, the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), the party that Mariano ran under and won in the last election. Lobregat’s spokesman said the second-highest LDP official here is Councilor Mike Alavar, although he has not been issued an appointment yet by LDP President Edgardo Angara as head of the LDP in Zamboanga.

Who will then nominate Mariano’s replacement to Angara? Joselito Macrohon from San Roque, a member of the LDP, placed ninth in the last election. He will most likely replace Mariano. There are other self-proclaimed hopefuls wanting to be appointed in Mariano’s place, although they belong to other political parties.

Being on-leave as the LDP leader here, can Rep. Lobregat, using his dual political role as LDP on-leave and a new member of the PDP-Laban exercise his nominating power? The law is clear: a non-LDP member cannot be appointed to replace Mariano.

In the coming days, Lobregat is expected to call a press conference to clarify matters concerning Mariano’s predicament and his eventual replacement.-Bob Jaldon