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Priest elected vice mayor

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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 news website.

Neophyte politician Fr. Jeemar Vera Cruz from the diocese of Iligan was proclaimed the new vice mayor of Iligan Tuesday.

The former vicar general of the diocese defeated acting Vice Mayor Providencio Abragan by more than 12,000 votes.

However, his two colleagues, Fr. Walter Cerbito and retired Fr. Jack Sapa, had contrasting fates in Northern Samar.

Cerbito, former vicar of the Catarman diocese, is trailing reelectionist Gov. Jose Ong Jr. As of Wednesday afternoon, Ong had 176,991 votes while Cerbito had 69,000 votes.

Although the total and final votes have not yet been transmitted, it would be impossible for the cleric to surmount Ong.

Sapa, from the same diocese, failed to win as councilor in the provincial capital Catarman.

Cerbito and Sapa 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. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)