MANILA—A Catholic priest has been elected as the new vice mayor of Iligan City, according to an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.
A neophyte politician, Fr. Jeemar Vera Cruz from the diocese of Iligan was proclaimed the new vice mayor of Iligan City Tuesday.
He will be serving three years in office.
The former vicar general of the diocese, defeated acting vice mayor Providencio Abragan with more than 12,000 votes.
Vera Cruz was lucky enough to win the position in Monday’s polls, unlike his two colleagues, Fr. Walter Cerbito and retired priest Jack Sapa, who both ran in local positions in Northern Samar province.
Cerbito, who is also former vicar of the Catarman diocese, is only second to re-electionist Governor Jose Ong Jr.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the incumbent governor was leading with a total of 176,991 votes while the priest has so far got around 69,000 votes.
Although the total and final votes have not yet been transmitted, it would be impossible for the cleric to surmount the leader in the said post.
On the other hand, Sapa, from the same diocese, also failed to win as councilor in the provincial capital, Catarman.
The priests have been suspended from their priestly duties since they announced their intention to run for government positions.
Church law bars clergy members from running for public office or accepting a position that includes the exercise of civil power.