WHAT is in barangay positions that some people who are already successful in their fields of endeavor are joining the forthcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections? Businessmen, lawyers, doctors, engineers and even media people are joining the electoral race. I am sure they are not only after of the honorarium they would receive, which depends on the income of the barangays.
I asked some of the aspirants and they had the same answer. They want to serve their constituents and want their barangays to progress. Well, we cannot cast doubt on their intention, passion and obsession to serve their barangay. But are they really sincere in their promises? Can they still serve their constituents when they are busy with their businesses and the practice of their profession?
I asked my friend Nina Ompoc Mabatid, who is running for barangay captain in Mabolo, why she joined the race when she is already very successful in her international business. Nina is president and chief executive officer of Pinoy Care and Visa center, an agency that processes visas for those who want to migrate to New Zealand, Canada and the Middle East. She also have a beauty products business. She said she wants to serve her fellow Mabolohanons.
I knew Nina a couple of years ago. She is the daughter of my number one radio fan, Manang Salud Ompoc Mabatid, younger sister of the late radio commentator Atty. David Ompoc. Nina grew up in the riverside of Mabolo where her mama had a small carenderia. She experienced the life of an ordinary person who struggled against poverty.
Nina never forgot her humble beginnings. She extended help to Mabolo residents. During Christmas and on her birthday, she would distribute gifts to less fortunate residents. She is facing Atty. Daniel Arguedo and Dr. Emmanuel “Boy” Labella, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella’s brother who retired from the Bureau of Quarantine. Sources in Mabolo said that the ongoing campaign is being hotly contested, with Arguedo engaging in “black propaganda” and below-the-belt offensive against Mabatid. Labella’s campaign is very professional.
Meanwhile, I asked the same question to our media colleagues who are also running in the barangay elections. They also said they are doing so in the name of public service.
Four dySS Super Radyo Cebu news staff members are seeking barangay positions. Allan Majait is running for barangay captain in Apas, Gabriel Bonjoc wants to be the barangay captain in Poblacion, Talisay City while Gerry Auxillo, Jeffrey “Super Jepoy” Tumulak and dyRT (FM) disc jockey “Papa Joe” are seeking council seats in Barangays Quiot, Kamputhaw and Guadalupe, respectively. My friend, lawyer/engineer Jomarie Poblete, former city administrator and city engineer, is running for barangay councilor in Kasambagan while broadcasters Yody Sanchez and my “inaanak” (godson) Dennes Tabar are running for barangay captain in Busay and Banilad, respectively.
Under Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, the functions, duties and responsibilities of a barangay captain are very awesome. He/she carries the functions of an executive, a legislator and judge rolled into one.