Lavezares Mayoralty Row

There is an on-going mayoralty row in the town of Lavezares. The political stand off came to a head when a division of the Commission on Elections unseated Mayor Quintin Saludaga and ordered his 2007 Mayoralty opponent, Antonio Balag to assume his post as the new mayor of Lavezares. The Comelec’s 2nd Division proclaimed him the winning mayoralty bet with 5,276 votes against Saludaga’s 5,149 votes. Balag then took his oath of office as mayor before N. Samar Governor Raul Daza.

Supporters of Saludaga had since been demonstrating outside the Lavezares town hall to protect it from being taken over by supporters of Balag. Saludaga claims that he won and was duly proclaimed winner in the May 2007 polls after garnering 5,913 votes against Balag who, he said, got only 5,168 votes.


Father Cecilio Lucero Murdered in San Jose

Something horrible happened in Northern Samar over the weekend. Father Cecilio Lucero was murdered on Sunday. Father Cecilio Lucero is the parish priest of Catubig, Northern Samar. Police reports said that Father Cecilio Lucero was on board his Toyota van, when he was attacked in Barangay Layuhan, San Jose town, at around 8:30 a.m. of Sept. 6, by around 30 unidentified armed men. A jeepney full of passengers plying the Allen-Catarman route almost got caught in the ambush, they were just 50 meters from Father Cecilio Lucero's vehicle. Father Cecilio Lucero reportedly just came from a wedding. His two companions, identified as PO2 Eugene Canaler and Isidro Miras, a civilian, were hit by bullets in different parts of the body and are being treated at a hospital in the province.

The murder of Father Cecilio Lucero is said to be the first in the 400 year-old history of Catholicism in Northern Samar. Father Cecilio Lucero is active in human rights advocacy and is the chairman of the human rights and justice committee of the Catarman diocese.

Father Cecilio Lucero is also a brother of Northern Samar Vice Governor, Atty. Boy Lucero and former 2nd District Representative Wilmar Lucero. Father Cecilio Lucero is 48 years old. His body will be interred on Sept. 14, exactly 22 years since his ordination as a priest. As of press time, his body is lying in state in St. Roche Church in San Roque, Northern Samar.

There is now confusion amongst the residents of the entire province as it was plunged into darkness, a brownout started early morning of Monday, Sept. 7 and is still ongoing as of this time, 8 PM. The national TV evening news of the major networks failed to mention the murder in their newscasts.