MANILA — Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr. served as the city’s acting mayor for about three hours on Monday.
The brief period was after the suspension order against Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. was posted at the main entrance of the City Hall.
Director Renato Brion of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments was escorted by a force of several thousand Philippine National Police troops including 200 members of the Special Action Force as they barricaded all entrances to the City Hall.
An hour later, Assistant City Prosecutor Billy Evangelista sworn Vice Mayor Peña into office in an oath-taking ceremony at Museo ng Makati in Barangay (village) Poblacion.
Peña immediately proceeded to the fourth floor of the old Makati City Hall building but left upon arriving because the room was padlocked.
He eventually told reporters that following the Court of Appeal’s decision to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the order, he decided not to proceed to the office anymore.
“I was up to the challenge. I was ready to offer what I have for the service of the people but sadly it did not materialize,” the vice mayor said noting that he has accepted the turn of events because he believes “that everything has a purpose,” he said.
He added that his supporters were dismayed about the decision but he promised to continue doing his duties as the city vice mayor.