MAYORAL candidate Augusto Corro and his runningmate Jose de Leon failed to take over the Daanbantayan municipal hall yesterday.

This came after the lawyers of incumbent Mayor Sun Shimura and his mother Vice Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot filed a motion for reconsideration before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc seeking to reverse the ruling of its First Division that allowed their rivals to take over their positions.

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Clad in red shirts, hundreds of supporters of the Loot camp gathered in front of the municipal hall yesterday morning and denounced the planned takeover of Corro and De Leon.

Shimura said the gathering of their supporters was a “show of force” to send a message to their rival politicians whom he accused of stealing their votes in the 2007 elections.

Shimura also announced before their supporters that they received a copy of the Comelec First Division ruling yesterday morning.

The Comelec First Division has issued a joint resolution lifting an injunction earlier issued by the court, thereby paving the way for Corro and De Leon to take over.

Members of the Special Reaction Unit and the military were deployed around the town hall to keep order.

Shimura told their supporters that he and his mother will vacate the municipal hall if the Comelec en banc and the Department of Interior and Local Government order them to.

For now, they will stay in power.

“Corro can kiss his dreams goodbye,” he said.

Loot said she will not vacate the post. “Over my dead body,” she said.

She said Corro and De Leon need first to secure a writ of execution from the court before they can assume the posts.

Shimura and Loot are still allowed to elevate the case before the Supreme Court (SC) if the Comelec en banc doesn’t reconsider.

Comelec Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano, sought for opinion, said it is the Comelec that will issue a writ of execution for Corro and de Leon to take over.

“The court has lost jurisdiction of the case when the records were forwarded to the Comelec (First Division),” Castillano said.

Capitol consultant on information and revenue generation Rory Jon Sepulveda said that before Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia left for Barcelona, she had instructed the Cebu Provincial Police Office to keep the peace in Daanbantayan.

He also said Corro has no basis to doubt the integrity of the police just because Loot’s husband, Sr. Supt. Vicente Loot, is a high-ranking official of the Police Regional Office 7.

Provincial Board (PB) Member Victor Maambong acknowledged the tension in the town but he challenged the citizens not to use force in trying to support their stand.

Yesterday, Loot assured their supporters they will never allow Corro and de Leon to take over the municipal hall without a court order.

But Corro is not giving up. He said he and De Leon will take over the municipality “in peaceful means …very, very soon.”

Supporters of Corro also gathered inside his compound in Barangay Poblacion last Saturday to show their support to the leaders.

Some of his supporters have claimed to have received death threats from the Loot camp, he said.

Corro called on Loot and her husband for a dialogue to keep the peace in the town.

Incidentally, the town will be visited by President Gloria Arroyo today.

Arroyo will spend the night in a resort on Malapascua Island.

Loot assured that security measures have been mapped out for the president’s visit.