THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division has lifted the court order preventing engineer Augusto Corro and Dr. Jose de Leon from sitting as Daanban-tayan mayor and vice mayor, respectively.

The Comelec First Division released a joint resolution declaring two previous orders of the lower court as valid and lifted the preliminary injunction.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

Promulgated last Feb. 17, the Comelec ruled: “Since the respondent judge has substantially complied with the rules of procedure on execution pending appeal, we cannot perceive any abuse of discretion on his part in issuing the assailed joint orders. Hence, there is no need to belabor the other issues raised by the petitioners.”

The order, signed by Commissioners Rene Sarmiento, Armando Velasco and Gregorio Larrazabal, affirmed Bogo City Regional Trial Court Judge Antonio Marigo-men’s order granting the joint motion for execution pending appeal and subsequent denial to the motion for reconsideration that Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura and Vice

Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot filed.

“There is no more legal impediment to the issuance of a writ of execution,” said Corro. This is the only document they are waiting for in order to sit as mayor of Daanbantayan, he said.

“The order of writ of execution is just ministerial on the part of the judge,” explained Corro’s sister and lawyer Liza Corro.

Not so, said Loot.

She said her camp still has a chance to contest the Comelec resolution through a motion for reconsideration or elevate the matter before the Comelec en banc and the Supreme Court.

“How can they sit down when there is a process to be followed,” Loot explained in Bisaya.

Corro will be in Daanbantayan today for a prayer rally with his supporters.

His camp received reports that Shimura and Loot have already barricaded the municipal hall.

Loot admitted that barricades are being prepared but these are not in place.

“We are just preparing barricades to protect the municipal hall. We’ll see if there are people who would attend their prayer rally,” said Loot.

“Even if election is just two months away, the favorable ruling is still a big victory to the people of Daanbantayan. Finally, the voice of the people of our town is heard. I am ready to serve the people as mayor of Daanbantayan. I call on the people to help me in attaining a peaceful concession. Let us move without further delay in serving our people within the bounds of the law,” Corro said in a press conference yesterday.

Corro does not believe that there will be violence in Daanbantayan, adding that Shimura and Loot must have already conditioned themselves that this decision is forthcoming and they are ready to accept defeat.

But Loot is not ready to concede.

“We’ll see if he’s ready to risk the lives of his people. Is he going to answer for the death of his supporters or if any of them gets injured? I know my supporters are not going to back down,” said Loot.

Personnel from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are expected to be deployed in Daanbantayan following the latest Comelec resolution.

But Corro would rather rely on the support of his people because he said Loot’s husband Senior Supt. Vicente Loot, deputy regional director for operations of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, and Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Erson Digal are in cahoots with the sitting town officials.

He could not believe that Loot was actually the one who asked for police escort.

Loot said Digal is only a co-worker in the sense that they work for the government. As far as her husband is concerned, the latter is not even detailed in Daanbantayan.

Corro once wrote PRO 7 Director Lani O-Nerez asking for the transfer of Vicente outside Central Visayas but the former said there was no basis for it.

Corro said he will address his request to President Arroyo and the Comelec.

In the May 2007 elections, Shimura got 15,800 votes, while Corro got 13,706. Loot got 16,520 votes, while de Leon got 12,773.

Corro and de Leon filed a joint election protest, where they were declared winners.

Marigomen issued a writ of execution pending appeal.

Shimura and Loot contested the ruling through a joint petition for certiorari before the Comelec.

Corro said that since his win in the 2007 elections was affirmed by the Comelec, there is no way he is going to lose this year, especially with poll automation.

Corro and Loot will face each other for the mayoral post this year. Shimura will run for a slot in the Provincial Board (PB) as representative of the fourth district under One

Cebu with PB Member Joven Mondigo Jr.

De Leon is also running for the same spot with San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez under the Liberal Party.