Mayor Minil Betonio

THE OATH-TAKING of  the youthful Herminigildo ‘Minil’ Betonio III  as  mayor of the Municipality of Pio V. Corpus, 3rd District, Masbate before DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo last  December 27 elicited unrestrained glee to Minil’s supporters who witnessed the ceremony.

Tata Minil’s  ascendancy as PVC’s new mayor is clearly a blow to Masbate Governor Rizalina Lanete’s erstwhile dynastic hold of  this municipality –  which happens to be her hometown and logically per-ceived to be her ‘showcase’ LGU.

Her youngest son ran for mayor  here in the 2010 elections, but  lost to 3-term then incumbent Mayor Diomedes Amaroto, Sr.

For health reasons, Mayor Amaroto irrevocably resigned recently, paving the way for Mayor Betonio’s  succession to the former’s vacated office, by operation of law, and under Sec. 44 of RA 7160 (Local Government Code). Legal glitches  loom as a consequence of this unusual turn of events.

This possible legal row may not, however, affect  Mayor Minil’s  discharge of official – and MANDATED –   new-found functions,  as a consequence of  the PERMANENT vacancy created  in the office of the mayor in Pio V. Corpus when Diomeng Amaroto voluntarily, if IRREVOCABLY, resigned/renounced  the same.

By operation of law, Mayor Minil automatically succeeds  to Mayor Diomeng’s vacated office.

And Mayor Minil cannot shirk away from,  waive nor even defer assumption of such responsibility, else he becomes liable for dereliction of duty (DILG opinions Nos. 51, 118, 124, 133, 155, 158, 184, 303 series of 1992;  78, 181– series of 1993; 78, 104, 151, 180–series of 1994; 41, 44, 45, 47, 52, 58, 61, 65-A, 68, 109–series of 1995; 7 –series of 1996; and 14, 20 – series of 1997).

Semblance of potential trouble has actually been provoked by the Governor’s panic reaction to Mayor Diomeng’s resignation.

Gov. Lanete repaired to Sec. 82 (2) of the Code which provides, inter alia,  that the mayor’s resignation is deemed effective only upon the Governor’s acceptance thereof. (TO BE CONTINUED)

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