BATANGAS, Philippines – Tanauan City Vice Mayor Jhoanna Corona Villamor will be taking the helm after the brutal killing of Mayor Antonio Halili Monday morning, July 2.
The 30-year-old Jhoanna, a lawyer, was standing beside Halili when he was shot during the flag raising ceremony at the municipal grounds.
According to Joseph Soriano of the Department of the Interior and Local Governmen office in Batangas, Villamor is the mayor’s automatic replacement, according to the rules of succession in the Local Government Code.
Section 44 of Republic Act 7160 states: “If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or mayor, the vice governor or vice mayor concerned shall become the governor or mayor. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice governor, mayor, or vice mayor, the highest ranking Sanggunian member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking Sanggunian member, shall become the governor, vice governor, mayor or vice mayor, as the case may be. Subsequent vacancies in the said office shall be filled automatically by the other Sanggunian members according to their ranking as defined herein.”
Villamor served as councilor from 2010 to 2013 before getting elected vice mayor. She is the daughter of Alfredo “Fred” Corona, incumbent board member of the 3rd district of Batangas and former Tanauan mayor, who was unseated in 2006 after the Supreme Court declared his rival Sonia Torres Aquino as the rightful winner.
Replacing Villamor as vice mayor is her uncle Benedicto “Ben” Corona, first councilor of Tanauan. Ben and Fred Corona are the first cousins of ousted Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona.
This movement will leave one seat vacant in the roster of city councilors.
According to DILG, the last seat for councilor will be filled by a nominee from the highest official of the political party where Villamor belongs.
In 2016, all the Coronas of Tanauan City ran under the Liberal Party. – Rappler.com