ILOILO Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. challenged the 1,721 barangay captains in Iloilo to set a good example this forthcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections by not engaging in money politics and harassment of voters.
Defensor issued the challenge as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) prepares for the conduct of the polls that was set on May 14 after it was postponed in October last year.
He said he observed that the barangay and SK elections are commonly marred by vote buying and manipulated by politicians.
Defensor was guest in the second day of the Liga ng mga Barangay Iloilo Provincial Congress 2018 held in SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City on March 2.
He said the barangay and SK election should serve as a model for the conduct of elections in the country -- clean, fair and honest.
He told the barangay officials to win the election not through vote buying and harassment but by getting the trust and confidence of the people through better public service.
Defensor cited his political career as example, saying in his 34 years as politician, he has won various elections without buying votes or intimidating the voters but by offering sincere and responsive public service that earned him the love and respect of the people.
Defensor also urged the barangay captains to support the efforts of the present administration to change the form of government to federalism.
He noted that federalism would strengthen local autonomy and would empower the barangay as the lowest unit of the government.
Defensor also thanked the barangay captains for supporting him in all his political endeavors. H said he will retire from politics after his term ends in 2019.
The two-day Liga ng mga Barangay Iloilo Provincial Congress, which started March 1, featured various speakers who tackled relevant topics affecting the barangays, such as peace and security, update on the forthcoming barangay and SK election, laws concerning barangay governance and accountability, and other issues.
Liga president Pablito Gemarino thanked his fellow league officials and barangay captains for their all-out support to the activity. (PR)