The complaints filed against four barangay captains of Bacolod City before the Commission on Elections for violation of Section 38 of the Election Code, have no legal basis but are purely politicking and harassment, Bacolod Councilor Caesar Distrito said yesterday.
“There is no law that prohibits the city from giving assistance for projects to one barangay or few barangays or all barangays,” Distrito said referring to the complaints filed against his brother, incumbent Barangay Captain Rosinie Distrito, and Barangay Captains Leonilo Colegado, Jose Maria Leandro Norberto de Leon and Leah Palma of Brgys. Singcang, 41, Vista Alegre and Punta-Taytay, respectively.
Rosinie Distrito, De Leon and Palma were re-elected, while Colegado is graduating after having fully served his three terms.
The complaints against the incumbent barangay captains were filed by their defeated challengers, who said the barangay elections should be non-partisan.
They also attached the list of 25 barangays who received financial assistance from the city before the elections for declogging activities.
A manifesto was earlier signed by 36 barangay captains in Bacolod City expressing their concern over the alleged seeming partisan political activities of the present administration in relation to the BSKE. They also questioned the timing of the release of the funds, while they were deprived of their share of garbage fees and taxes
Councilor Distrito said it is within the executive power of the mayor to prioritize where the funds should be put, including granting of funds for projects to the barangays.
He said the funds has been requested for release even before the election period, and had even been approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously. Even if it had been granted during election period, it is not prohibited by law or by election rules.
During barangay elections, the city is not covered by the prohibition from implementing projects, only barangay funds, Distrito said.
Non-partisan refers to the intervention of political parties in fielding candidates during barangay elections and not what they interpreted it to be. When the law does not prohibit, it allows, he said.
Distrito said this baseless and unfounded complaint will be dismissed for sure. Most of the complainants had been defeated during the recent barangay elections, so they should accept the people’s judgment, concede, and move on.
There will still be elections in the next two years. They can make a comeback if they want, so that the newly elected barangay officials can serve unhampered and be free from their baseless complaint. This is just for publicity stint, nothing more, nothing less, he added.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said he hopes that the new set of barangay and SK officials will do their best to serve the people and also cooperate with the present administration especially in its programs such as compliance with R.A. 9003.
He said elected and losing candidates should remove their election paraphernalia after the elections. “Let’s find out if the new set of barangay and SK officials will comply with R.A. 9003.
Familiaran said the first evaluation for the Clean and Green contest will be this June.
“Since the election is over, let us all move on. Winning and losing candidates should unite for the progress of their respective barangays,” he said.
Familiaran said the elections were generally peaceful except that there were reports of vote-buying, he said.
With the barangay and SK elections, the Sanggunian will now have 14 members after the election of the Association of Barangay Captains and SK presidents, he added.*CGS
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