Wednesday July 18, 2018

Disqualification complaint filed vs 4 village chiefs hit

BACOLOD City Councilor Caesar Distrito, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) committee on laws, said yesterday, May 16, that the complaint filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against the four barangay captains has no legal basis and its purely politics and harassment.

Distrito said there is no law that prohibits the city from giving assistance for projects to the barangays.

Last week, election offense case was filed against the four incumbent chieftains of Barangays 41, Singcang-Airport, Vista Alegre and Punta Taytay who allegedly received financial assistance from the city government.

"It is within the executive power of the mayor to prioritize where the funds would be put into, including granting of funds for projects to the barangays," Distrito said.

He said the funds were requested for release even before election period and was even approved by the SP unanimously.

"Even if it was granted during the election period, it is not prohibited by law or by election rules. During barangay elections, the city is not covered in the prohibition from implementing projects, only barangay funds," he added.

Distrito noted that non-partisan refers to the intervention of political parties in fielding candidates during barangay elections and not what they interpreted it to be. “When the law does not prohibit, it is allowed.”

The 36 barangay captains had earlier questioned the approval of financial assistance to the 25 barangay captains including the Barangays 41, Singcang-Airport, Vista Alegre and Punta Taytay.

They expressed their grievances against the current administration for granting financial assistance to only 25 villages, ranging from P140,000 to P320,000.

"This baseless and unfounded complaint will surely be dismissed for sure. Most of the complainants had been defeated during the just concluded barangay elections, so accept the people’s judgment, concede and move on," Distrito said.

He said there are still elections in the next two years and just make a comeback if they want so that the newly elected barangay officials can serve unhampered and free from their baseless complaint.

"This is just for a publicity stunt, nothing more, nothing less," he said.

City Election Registrar Mavil Majarucon-Sia had earlier said the complaint will be forwarded to the Comelec Law Department in Manila and the respondents will be given a chance to file their affidavits. (MAP)