New mayor, vice mayor assume office in Marcos town

LAOAG CITY — Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba, in his capacity as acting Governor of Ilocos Norte, administered on Wednesday afternoon the oath-taking of the newly-appointed mayor and vice mayor of Marcos town to fill in the position vacated by slain mayor Arsenio Agustin.

Agustin and his driver were killed by an unidentified gunman while inspecting a dam project in Barangay Mabuti, Marcos town last June 3.

By law of succession, first term Vice Mayor Jessie Ermitanio, 42, and senior town Councilor Rofel Pambid officially took their oath of office as the new mayor and vice mayor of Marcos town held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall.

After a simple oath-taking ceremony, Ermitanio assured the people of Marcos to continue whatever plans and programs the former mayor has started.

The newly-appointed mayor, however, lamented insinuations of his alleged involvement in the mayor’s killing.

“It saddens me that there are some information reaching me like that to think that we had each others back during the past election. I had always been behind his back when he made a comeback in Marcos and we run under the same political line up,” said Ermitanio.

Barely two months after Ermitanio himself figured in an ambush incident that killed his driver and injured two municipal employees, the new mayor said he is offering at least Php 250,000 reward from his personal pocket for any information that could lead to the immediate resolution of his case and that of Agustin’s killing.

For his part, newly-appointed vice mayor Pambid said he has no intention of assuming the second top post of Marcos town until the untimely death of Agustin.

Pambid’s father, Rogelio, was a former mayor of Marcos town who was also killed by gunmen riding in tandem in 2004.

Provincial Director Melencio Nartatez Jr. confirmed on Wednesday that of the 45 killings that transpired in Marcos town since 2004, at least 18 remains unresolved as of this time.

“These killings were politically-motivated,” he said. LGA/