ILIGAN CITY -- Legal group and supporters of jailed mayor Celso G. Regencia occupy the main City Hall building Tuesday morning after a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued and granted by Judge Arthur Abundiente of the Regional Trial Court 12th Judicial Region Branch 4, Iligan City was served by a sheriff.
The TRO directed acting mayor Ruderic C. Mrazo and acting vice-mayor Provedencio A. Abragan Jr. to cease and desist from further occupying their positions.
Ligaya Padilla of the Land Bank of the Philippines Iligan City Branch and Francis Dogoan of the Development Bank of the Philippines here were also directed not to allow transactions of funds made by Marzo and Abragan other than those which are in payment of salaries of the employees for this month.
Emilio Rana, city director of the Interior and Local Government, was also directed to cease and desist from recognizing Marzo as acting mayor and Abragan as acting vice mayor and recognize instead Regencia as the mayor.
Lawyer Rafael Benedictos Jr., designated chief of staff of Regencia, told reporters Tuesday morning that when they opened the building offices they were already empty. Office equipment were taken out and moved to different offices.
“We are busy occupying the place to establish the offices to make them functional while Regencia will perform his duties inside the city jail," Benedictos said.
For his part, Marzo issued a memorandum to all the workers to wait for the installation once the TRO is served. “I presumed that the DILG will serve and execute the TRO but it was the sheriff who served it. I was installed by the DILG as the acting mayor and it is only apt that the TRO should be served by the DILG,” Marzo clamored.
At 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Marzo and Abragan filed a motion for reconsideration at the RTC Branch 4 under Judge Abundiente.
The camps of Regencia and Marzo a usurpation case against each other while Marzo will be filing charges against the sheriff.
Marzo worries on the bank transactions, saying: “I think the operations of the City Government of Iligan will be barred from functioning because the mayor cannot sign the checks for and on behalf of the City Government. He needs the authority from the City Council that is specifically stipulated in our Local Government Code."
Marzo added, “The banks need to comply with some requirements. For me I will not sign any checks until the TRO will be resolved."
With the situation at the city hall, the garbage collection has suffered.
The Swat team of the Philippine National Police secured the premises while the TRO was served and Regencia's supporters entered the city hall main building by cutting the chain used to lock the steel gate. (RVU)