Eastern Samar town has 2 mayors
Ricky Bautista (The Philippine Star) - July 28, 2014 - 12:00am

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines - – Residents of a remote agricultural town in Eastern Samar are now in a sticky situation as they have two mayors.

Mayor Conrado Nicart III of San Policarpo town refused to vacate his office on the second floor of the municipal hall despite a court order for him to step down and relinquish his post to his rival, Virginia Acol, who was declared duly elected mayor.

In a 40-page ruling dated June 30, Judge Juliana White of the Regional Trial Court Branch 5 based in Oras town, ordered Nicart to immediately vacate his office in favor of Acol.

Nicart, however, defied the order and has holed himself up in his office since July 18. His supporters also camped out outside the town hall.

Policemen have been deployed to ensure peace and order between the two warring parties.

“I believe I’m the real winner (in the last elections). I will not give up my seat,” Nicart said, adding that stepping down “would do injustice” to his constituents.

“I would only step down and leave this office if there is already a final order and a directive from the Department of the Interior and Local Government,” Nicart said, adding that he would also file an appeal before the Commission on Elections.

Earlier, Acol had accused Nicart of committing electoral fraud and sought a recount of votes.

Based on the recount of votes in 18 clustered precincts, the court declared Acol garnered 3,773 votes against Nicart’s 3,667 votes or a margin of 106 votes.

On May 14, 2013, the board of canvassers proclaimed Nicart winner with 3,945 votes as against Acol’s 3,857 or a difference of 88 votes.

Nicart, who is supposedly serving his third and last term as mayor, denied Acol’s allegations.

Nicart, son of Eastern Samar Gov. Conrado Nicart Jr., ran under the banner of the Liberal Party, and Acol, under the Nacionalista Party.

A fifth-class municipality, San Policarpo is one of the country’s poorest towns with only 17 villages and a population of  13,836, mostly dependent on fishing and farming, based on the 2010 census.

ACOL CONRADO NICART JR. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EASTERN SAMAR EASTERN SAMAR GOV JUDGE JULIANA WHITE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH LIBERAL PARTY MAYOR CONRADO NICART NICART SAN POLICARPO
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