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The Regional Trial Court, Branch 4 of the 12th Judicial Region issued December 7, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Ruderic C. Marzo and Providencio Abragan, Jr. to cease and desist from functioning as Acting Mayor and Vice Mayor, respectively, of Iligan and to return to the positions for which they were elected.

According to the said Order Mayor Celso G. Regencia is ordered to continue his duties as the duly elected Mayor of Iligan City.

Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines, the depository banks of the Local Government of Iligan, are likewise ordered to desist from recognizing the signatures of Ruderic C. Marzo and Providncio Abragan as Acting Mayor and Acting Vice- Mayor of Iligan, respectively, in any transactions with the said bank.

The said TRO was issued by the Clerk of Court pursuant to the Order of Acting Presiding Judge Arthur Abundiente embodied in the resolution of even date on Civil Case No. 7838 For Declaratory Relief, Injunction, Preliminary Injunction, Temporary Restraining Order and Damages and Mandamus filed by Atty. Vermin M. Quimco, Atty. Zaldy C. Lim, Atty. Edgardo B. Prospero, Atty. Rafael Benedictos, Jr., Atty. Giovanni M. Encabo, Atty. Demosthenes Plando, Fr. Nasser M. Zaragoza and Hon. Celso Regencia.

Respondents in the said case are Hon. Ruderic C. Marzo, Hon. Providencio Abragan, Director Emilio T. Rana, Ligaya T. Padilla (Manager of Land Bank of the Philippines Iligan), Francis Dongoan (Manager, Development Bank of the Philippines).

In his Resolution the Acting Presiding Judge concluded that “Regencia was illegally excluded by respondents Marzo and Abragan from occupying the Position which is rightfully his by virtue of his election thereto. It is only proper that he should be allowed to occupy the same until there is a categorical order from competent authority, for him to step down by reason of his alleged legal incapacity.”

It may be recalled that on March 27, 2015, Regencia was suspended by the Office of the President for six months and Vice Mayor Ruderic C. Marzo assumed as Mayor of Iligan City. Likewise No. 1 Councilor Providencio Abragan assumed as Acting Vice-Mayor.

During this period of suspension, Warrants of Arrest were issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 44 of Misamis Oriental for the arrest of Regencia and his co-accused in connection with the ambush of Congressman Vicente F. Belmonte, Jr. of the Lone District of Iligan resulting to the deaths of his bodyguards and injuries of Belmonte and his companions.

According to the Resolution, Regencia and his co-accused became fugitives, and on October 12, 2015, he surrendered to the Acting Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 4, Iligan City and he was ordered detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Tipanoy, Iligan City.

The Resolution continued: “On October 13, 2012, the Sangguniang Panlungsod, received a communication from Regencia, informing the members thereof that he will resume the duties and responsibilities as City Mayor of Iligan City, when his suspension would end on October 17, 2015.”

Futhermore, the resolution mentioned of many more communications that were issued by Regencia, nevertheless, respondents continued to hold on to the Office that they were occupancy,

Finally, the Acting Presiding Judge of the said Court pointed out that “to prevent irreparable damage to the petitioners specifically, and the City of Iligan generally, this Court, hereby RULES and RESOLVES to GRANT the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) as prayed for.”

Meanwhile as of this writing it was learned that the Respondents have filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Court of Appeals assailing the said Temporary Restraining Order.

It was also reported that in deference to the TRO Marzo has ceased from signing official documents that need to be signed by City Mayor.

Reportedly, business in the Local Government of Iligan is virtually paralyzed, since documents are not signed and financial transactions with the banks cannot move due to certain requirements that have not been satisfied.

The New Ranao Star

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