A BARANGAY captain complained yesterday that what was supposed to be a consultation about next year’s budget and what barangays need turned into a political assembly for Team Rama.

Tejero Barangay Captain Jessielou Cadungog said that Team Rama used the event to introduce potential candidates for next year’s election.

The head of the Association of Barangay Councils and one of the potential candidates said that was an inaccurate observation.

“I was surprised nga dili ang mga concerns and problems sa barangay ang gihisgutan kay gihimo man to nilang pulong-pulong, pagpangampanya og pagpaila sa ilang possible line-up (I was surprised because instead of talking about the barangays’ problems, they used the event to campaign and introduce their possible line-up),” Cadungog said.

Cadungog is a known member of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).

He said that among those who were given the privilege to speak were Felicisimo Rupinta, Edwin Jagmoc, Joel Garganera, Yody Sanchez and Ramil Ayuman.

But Tisa Barangay Captain Philip Zafra countered that Cadungog’s allegations were not true.

“I respect his opinion but it’s so unfair to accuse us of using the venue for introducing our would-be candidates. The assembly was really intended to consult barangay officials on their priority programs and projects for next year,” he said.

Zafra also clarified that all those who spoke were barangay officials, some of whom the mayor has appointed to take charge of special programs.

Kung pamolitika gyud to, wa unta sila gi-invite (Had it been a purely political gathering, we would not have invited them). Besides, the group has no official declaration yet on politics-related issues,” he said.

Zafra, who is also president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), said the event was legitimate and gave the barangay captains a chance to raise their concerns.

For the top priorities, barangay captains said they want the City to appropriate more funds for infrastructure projects, drainage, flood control, health, and peace and order.

Ayuman also supported Zafra’s statements, saying he was made to deliver a speech on how his barangay improved because of its barangay-centered annual budget.

“I was sharing our best practices and what we received under the administration of Mayor Rama,” he said.

He emphasized Rama’s initiative to give financial assistance to barangays, which would help them implement projects.

Late man gud siya naabot maong iyang naabtan mga speech na lang (Cadungog arrived late so all he witnessed were the speeches),” Ayuman said.

Last May 28, the mayor met with officials in the south district; yesterday’s meeting was for the north.

Cadungog recalled that when he arrived at the venue, he was asked to fill up a checklist of concerns for the barangays.

Way consultation nga nahitabo (No consultation happened),” he said. He would have wanted to discuss the need to dredge the creeks, including one in his barangay.