FORMER Aloguinsan mayor Cynthia Moreno should just surrender.

So should the seven others who were convicted, along with her, for violating Republic Act (RA) 3019 and RA 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, for the purchase of more than P1 million worth of aluminum panels without a public bidding in 2007.

What do they hope to gain by running away from authorities, anyway?

If they’re trying to gain public sympathy for their current predicament, guess what, I don’t think anyone’s sympathizing. Not when they’re blatantly defying the law.

Consider this. The copy of the arrest warrant was received by the town’s police station last Jan. 25. And yet, all eight remain loose.

For 10 days, local police searched for them. Finally, they went to the municipality’s Human Resource Management Office only to be told that the persons they were looking for were on leave.

That’s right. Municipal Budget Officer Nonela Villegas, Municipal Agricultural Officer Marilyn Flordeliza, Municipal Assessor John Lim, Municipal Engineer Orven Nengasca and Emilia Luz Celis, who is now a Sangguniang Bayan member, were out-of-town attending a seminar.

For 10 days.

Maybe Pepito Manguilimotan, who retired as municipal civil registrar, and Gertrudes Ababon, who is no longer in government service, tagged along. I don’t know.

Last Friday, SunStar Cebu went to the Morenos’s house, which, by the way, is a stone’s throw from the police station. The family helper said Cynthia and her husband, dismissed mayor Augustus Caesar “Chonse,” were attending their son’s wedding in the city.

So Cynthia had been home, and yet police, who could have walked to her doorstep, managed to miss her.

For 10 days.

No wonder the police secured certifications from barangay captains where the eight individuals live as proof that they tried to serve the warrants. Otherwise, it certainly would look fishy, not that it already doesn’t.

Then last Sunday, Cynthia’s husband Chonse said he lost contact with his wife. Note, he didn’t say he didn’t know where she was, he just said they were incommunicado.

Just give me a second here… The couple had just attended their son’s wedding. I’m sure there was a reception and they attended that, too. They probably had brunch last Saturday… then, poof, just like that, Cynthia disappeared into thin air. Oh wait, she could no longer be contacted.

“I think she needed time to adjust before she will come out. I believe she will come out soon,” Chonse said.

Come out from where, their bedroom?