The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- Months before the 2013 elections, political tension has started to build up in Gamay, Northern Samar between the governor and the mayor.
Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong told reporters on Friday that Gamay Mayor Timoteo "Tim" Capoquian Jr. had refused to vacate his post even after he was served with a suspension order by Governor Paul Daza.
"The people are now starting to gather at the municipal hall in support of Mayor Capoquian," said Ong in a phone interview with InterAksyon.com.
The tension is expected to escalate on Monday, October 15, as police will reportedly enforce the order against Capoquian on that day, according to Ong.
Daza recently issued a three-month suspension order against Capoquian after the mayor was found to be "guilty of misconduct in office" by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).
Capoquian's case stemmed from the complaint filed by Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member Cresante Montances, who accused the mayor of issuing allegedly slanderous statements against her during an event in the town on September 2, 2011.
Montances was appointed by Daza as SB member of Gamay. She replaced Henry Roy Gomba, a political ally of Capoquian, who was gunned down in Lapinig town on June 29, 2011.
Instead of replying to Montances' complaint, Capoquian filed a case before the Regional Trial Court questioning the SP decision against him.
Ong and Capoquian are both members of the National Unity Party (NUP), mostly composed of former members of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino or Kampi Party founded by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Daza as well as Gamay Vice Mayor Moveble Martinico are members of the administration's Liberal Party (LP).
Ong is running for reelection and will be pitted against Daza.
Capoquian will seek another term against Martinico.
Daza will run for reelection against Ong's brother, Jun Ong.
While LP and NUP recently signed an agreement to support the 12 senatorial candidates of the administration coalition, Ong said the same thing won't necessarily happen at the local level.
"There could be coalition at the national level, but you can't say the same thing at the local level," the lawmaker said.