NAGA CITY (April 5 2012) – With the mayoralty position in the town of Siruma, Camarines Sur still an unresolved dispute, controversy now revolves around the caretaker acting municipal Mayor triggering a clash between Malacañang and the Provincial government.
Siruma Vice-Mayor Karen Polinga was expected to serve as acting Mayor until the mayoralty position was settled in a special poll that would have taken place last March 10, 2012. This special election, however, was scrapped allegedly because of its close proximity to the 2013 mid-term elections and security concerns, among other reasons.
Subsequent developments saw Polinga getting suspended by the Provincial Board that also designated Councilor Darwin Sta. Ana as new acting Mayor.
Moreover, when Malacañang ordered Polinga to continue as acting Mayor, Sta. Ana chose to defy the national leadership and insisted on holding office in the town hall causing confusion among the constituents.
Sources at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) provincial office said that Polinga is mandated to hold on to her post through a Malacañang directive signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
In mid-March this year right after the scrapping of the special mayoral election, a huge crowd of local residents protested in front of the office of the Commission of Elections (COMELEC) at the Siruma town hall, calling on election officials to push through with the special mayoralty poll.
Vice-Mayor Polinga is also calling on the COMELEC to push through with the special election “to settle once and for all the electoral protest on the mayorality that has demoralized officials and employees of the local government.”