Cagayan de Oro has 2 mayors

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/28 June) — This city has two mayors — again.

The Padayon Pilipino-dominated city council, in a special session Tuesday night, named Vice Mayor Ian Acenas mayor and Councilor Lourdes Candy Darimbang vice mayor.

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A police SWAT vehicle is parked outside the Cagayan de Oro City Hall as more policemen were deployed to prevent any untoward incident between followers of Mayor Oscar Moreno and former Mayor Vicente Emano. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo

Aside from naming Acenas and Darimbang, the city council also sent advisory notes to all depository banks to withhold all disbursements by the administration of Mayor Oscar Moreno.

Exempted by the withholding order are the payments for salaries of city hall employees, bank interests and other operational expenses of the local government.

This developed after the Office of the Ombudsman ruled to deny the motion of reconsideration filed by Mayor Oscar Moreno to dismiss the case filed by Taglimao barangay chair William Guialani over the Ajinomoto taxation case.

The Ombudsman’s ruling was dated Feb. 15, 2016 but was only transmitted last weekend.

More policemen were immediately deployed around the city hall Tuesday afternoon to prevent any untoward incident between followers of Moreno and former mayor Vicente Emano.

Emano, Padayon Pilipino founder, lost to Moreno in 2013 and again in the elections on May 9 this year.

Acenas lost to Moreno’s running mate, Raineir Joaquin Uy in this year’s polls.

“We hope they (Padayon Pilipino) will exercise prudence and patience because we will also protect the rights of Mayor Moreno,” lawyer Dale Bryan Mordeno, counsel of Moreno told reporters.

Officials loyal to Moreno immediately closed all doors of the city hall on Tuesday after they reportedly received information that supporters of Padayon Pilipino will occupy the building.

City Administrative Officer Dionnie Gersana said the closure was only precautionary to prevent any untoward incident.

“City hall is still open for business but we will be strictly monitor who will be coming inside,” he said.

In a letter to the Department of Interior and Local Government on Tuesday, Acenas said he will “forcedly [sic] assume the duties and responsibilities as Local Chief Executive of Cagayan de Oro effective today, June 28, 2016,” citing that he had already taken his oath of office as city mayor last year.

Mordeno said the Court of Appeals has already ruled against Acenas taking over as city mayor last year.

“The CA order was clear. Mayor Moreno still has the right to seek redress from this ruling,” Mordeno said, adding they have yet to receive a copy of the recent Ombudsman ruling.

In a ruling dated Feb. 15 this year, the Ombudsman said Moreno only presented a photo copy of “his purported counter affidavit” filed with the Office of the Ombudsman Mindanao regional office in Cagayan de Oro on April 20, 2025.

“The burden of proving that a counter affidavit was indeed filed lies on Moreno,”  the Ombudsman said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)