TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: For the past five days, the people of this capital city
have been confused for having two mayors holding their respective offices at the city hall.
Elected City Mayor Jefferson Soriano said the Court of Appeals has reinstated him but elected Vice Mayor Engelbert Caronan, who assumed the mayorship after Soriano’s dismissal by the Ombudsman, is not stepping down until further order by the court and the Department of Interior and Local Government.
On Monday, Soriano officially resumed his duties as mayor following the decision of the appellate court. In his letter to Caronan, Soriano said he was retaking his post.
Soriano was dismissed for issuing without the approval of the city council a business permit to a flea market operator and closing four streets for the city fiesta. The Ombudsman said he committed “abuse of authority and grave misconduct.”
After the Ombudsman’s order of dismissal, Soriano immediately appealed the decision to the courts. The appellate court modified the allegation from “grave misconduct” to “simple misconduct” punishable with a three months suspension.