ORMOC CITY – A new councilor has finally been appointed to fill in the vacancy left by the late councilor and three-term vice-mayor Nepomuceno Aparis I. He is John Eulalio Nepomuceno Aparis II, also known as “Jay-R”, one of the two nominees submitted to the Office of the President last year.
“Jay.R”, in an interview, said the appointment comes as a surprise to him. “Wa jud mi magdahum ani, kalit lang ba,” said Aparis.
However, Jay.R is not new to politics. Before his appointment to the council, he was on his third term as barangay councilor in their village.
The 31-year-old Jay.R took his oath on Thursday morning at the city mayor’s office together with his family, LGU officials and friends, who expressed their support for the young councilor.
Jay.R also swore to do his duties and responsibilities well, as a city councilor.
“ … Akong paningkamutan nga mahimo akong duties and responsibilities in good way, Honestly, lisud tupngan ako amahan. Sa giingon pa bitaw ni mayor nga akong malabwan, pero di jud, lisud jud”, Jay.R added.
Jay.R was college registrar of Sto. Niño College of Ormoc. Last December, he was promoted as Vice President for Academic affairs (VPA) and sits on the Board of the same school. He is currently studying for his Master’s Degree in Information Technology at Tacloban City.
His mother, Thelma, describes Jay.R as “a shy type of guy.”
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Toto Locsin Jr. said he is glad to hear that the President has finally appointed a councilor to fill up the vacant position, saying that the council has many matters to attend to and one more helping hand can do a lot.
“Well, mas maayo nga naa na, it is now the decision of the President man and we have nothing to do with that. Amo gyod na i respito,” Locsin said.
The vice-mayor was not around during the oath-taking as he was attending various official functions in some villages in the city.
The Vice Mayor and Liberal Party councilors’ choice to the post was Evangeline Cotiangco, the wife of congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez’s congressional office OIC Lito Cotiangco. During the nomination process, though, the LP majority allowed the entry of Aparis’s name as a second nominee in respect to the family of the late councilor and three-term vice-mayor.
City councilors Bennet Pongos Jr. and Tommy Serafica proposed to include Jay.R’s name in fairness to the late statesman’s family.
A legal issue, however, arose immediately pertaining to the said nomination. Jay.R withdrew from his nomination before the papers were submitted to Malacañang.
The minority bloc also withdrew their approval to the resolution with the two names, even as it was opined then that they cannot do that because the SP’s internal rules itself state they cannot withdraw their votes, once it is casted.
However, it was also learned that even as Jay.R withdrew from the nomination, his name still appeared on the nomination paper that was submitted to the Palace as it was the same document that was approved during the council session. By JKDP, Paul Libres with some portions from LMJ