CORDOVA Mayor-elect Cesar “Didoy” Suan has promised to retain all the department heads currently working under the administration of outgoing Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy-Cho.

Suan, who defeated Sitoy-Cho in the May 9 elections, made the promise during his first dinner meeting with the town’s department heads at the Cordova Home Village on Friday, June 17, 2022.

“Sa akong gipasalig maski wala pay election, wala ako[y] taktakon kaninyo kay salig ako sa inyong katakos isip mga department heads,” read Suan’s message, which was posted on his Facebook page.

(I promised even before the elections, I will never terminate anybody because I trust your abilities as department heads.)

The incumbent first councilor expressed hope that they will work together in leading the local government, saying that the elections have passed and it is high time for them to start their service for their constituents in Cordova.

Included in their discussions during the meeting were the things that all departments need to prepare when Suan will assume office on June 30.

The department heads, in return, reportedly expressed their 100 percent support and commitment to the new administration.

Sitoy-Cho’s camp has filed a motion for disqualification against Suan before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) central office.

Based on Comelec results, Sitoy-Cho garnered only 17,052 votes in the May 9 local elections, while Suan secured 21,222 votes.

A week after the elections, Sitoy-Cho said her camp would also file an election protest against the Comelec officials, barangay captains, tanods (watchmen), barangay health workers and teachers who were reportedly involved in the election irregularities that led to the defeat of the majority of her slate.

She said more than 100 people had witnessed the irregularities that included vote buying, individuals voting more than once, unregistered voters voting, and the existence of pre-shaded ballots.

Suan earlier denied the allegations hurled against him, saying he became municipal councilor for the past 15 years without buying any vote, and he believed that the Cordovahanons did not want to sell their votes but only wanted a change in the leadership of the town, which has been ruled by the Sitoys for almost 50 years.

The mayor-elect, however, said he would welcome the electoral protest concerning the alleged irregularities in the elections.

Sitoy-Cho did not immediately respond to SunStar Cebu’s queries on the disqualification case filed by her camp and about whether the election protest had been filed.