Official: Village heads sign manifesto of their own free will-A A +A
Friday, September 14, 2012
THE Bacolod Association of Barangay Captains said Thursday that the manifesto signing of village heads in support for Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s bid for Congress was done out of their free will.
The association president, Councilwoman Mona Dia Jardin, said there was no such thing as forcing them to sign the said manifesto, as it was done out of their trust and confidence to the Leonardia’s leadership.
She brushed aside speculation that there was money involved and projects were given to force the punong barangays to sign the manifesto of support.
She said the officials believe that Leonardia deserves their trust and confidence when he decides to continue serving the people of Bacolod.
Some barangay captains who did not sign the manifesto reacted along with Bacolod City lone district Representative Anthony T. Golez Jr.
Golez, in an interview with ABS-CBN, said the punong barangays were being held hostage by the Leonardia administration because, if they will not sign the manifesto, there might be a possibility that the release of the Pagcor assistance of P20,000 a month being given to them plus the P300,000 share in the Annual Investment Plan (AIP) might be jeopardized.
It is not surprising that they will sign the manifesto, said the lawmaker.
Golez and his allies issued the reaction after 51 barangay heads and 55 Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons out of the 61 barangays in Bacolod signed the manifesto of support for the mayor to continue serving the people of Bacolod beyond his term as mayor.
Barangay 18 village head Madeline Diaz said that if Leonardia did that, Golez can also do the same.
But Barangay 15 village chief Anjo Ayco, for his part, said the barangays should refrain from participating in such political act because, under the law, the villages should remain apolitical or non-partisan.
Department of Interior and Local Government Regional Director Evelyn Trompeta, who happened to be in Bacolod on Thursday, shared the same view, saying such signing of manifesto should be discouraged because the barangay should remain apolitical.
But Jardin said their act was just an expression of a sentiment that was favorable to Leonardia.
She said there was no official endorsement made but purely an expression of support that urged the mayor to continue his service to the people of Bacolod. (CNC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 14, 2012.