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Nueva Ecija town mayor ousted.

September 24, 2014

ALIAGA, Nueva Ecija, Philippines – A Cabanatuan City court on Monday ousted the mayor of this town and installed her rival as the winner in the 2013 elections.

1Despite her refusal to vacate the post, Mayor Elizabeth Vargas was replaced by Reynaldo Ordanes after a court sheriff served an order issued by Judge Virgilio  Caballero.

The mayor’s ouster ended the 22-year rule of the Vargases in the municipality.

Vargas, a four-term mayor and wife of former mayor Marcial Vargas, was proclaimed winner by the municipal board of canvassers after beating Ordanes by a margin of 64 votes.

Vargas garnered 11,477 votes while Ordanes received 11,413.

Ordanes filed an election protest before the court, which in May voided 72 of Vargas’ votes.

The court ruled as valid three of Ordanes’ votes, which were rejected by the precinct count optical scan machines.

Vargas’ votes were reduced to 11,405 while Ordanes rose to 11,416.

Last June 19, the court issued a writ of execution for Vargas’ ouster.

The writ was withheld last July 15 after the Commission on Elections issued a temporary restraining order for 60 days. The TRO expired last Sept. 16, prompting the court to issue another order on Sept. 17 implementing the writ.

The court said Vargas had not showed any evidence to defend her position.

Ordanes said he would temporarily hold office at his house, as Vargas refused to vacate the town hall.

“We don’t want any trouble, we want peace in Aliaga,” Ordanes said as he appealed to Vargas to step down.

He said he would wait for the Department of the Interior and Local Government to intervene.

Vargas refused to come out of the mayor’s office, where she has been holed up since last week.

Municipal administrator Emmanuel San Juan said they would abide by the law. – 

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