New chief breaks office lock

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Friday, December 6, 2013


NEWLY-ELECTED Kamagayan Barangay Captain Raquel Avila and her personnel forcibly opened yesterday the padlocked office of the barangay captain inside the Kamagayan barangay hall.

This, after former barangay captain Celestino Avila failed to turn over to the new official the key to his office.

Celestino reportedly locked the office inside the barangay hall days before his term expired last Nov. 30.

Raquel said she consulted and sought the help of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

With the presence of a representative from DILG, police and General Services Office (GSO), Raquel’s personnel destroyed the padlock to the office using a cutter.

Raquel said she already sent a letter request last Nov. 29 to Celestino for a formal turnover of the office, including other properties of the barangay, but did not get any reply.

Declined

Yesterday, Raquel asked Celestino through her representatives to go to the barangay hall for the turnover, but Celestino allegedly declined.

The former barangay captain, for his part, said he did not decline, but asked them to reschedule the turnover in the afternoon due to earlier commitments.

Celestino also denied the allegation that he padlocked his office.

He said he was not able to turn over the key because he went to Tacloban and Samar to visit the relatives of his wife affected by typhoon Yolanda. He arrived in Cebu yesterday.

“Why would I do that? It is not my property, it’s the property of the people,” said Celestino in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu.

He said he locked his office days before his term expired because some of his personal belongings are still inside.

Affected

With what happened, Raquel said transactions in the barangay were affected.

She temporarily used the ground floor of the barangay hall as her office after she assume the post last Dec. 1.

Raquel’s husband, who is also a councilor in Barangay Kamagayan, is Celestino’s nephew.

Celestino, who served his three terms as barangay captain, also ran and was elected as barangay councilor.

Raquel said Celestino and her family have always been political rivals since as far as she could remember.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 06, 2013.

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