FORMER mayor and congressman Carmelo "Tarzan" Lazatin, who is the incumbent chairman of Barangay Balibago in Angeles City, on Tuesday, September 11, filed a leave of absence for medical purposes.
Lazatin turned up at the barangay hall Tuesday morning and informed other village officials and employees that he filed a leave and appointed Second Councilor Alan Bonifacio as acting village chief from September 14 to 16 while the punong barangay is on leave.
But First Councilor Rodelio "Tony" Mamac said that Lazatin's leave of absence and Bonifacio's appointment are no longer applicable since the opposition bloc of the barangay council, which is made up of majority of the members, already passed a resolution declaring a temporary vacancy in the Office of the Punong Barangay.
The resolution, which was passed on Monday, September 9, stated that Lazatin was absent for 29 consecutive days because of sickness.
In the same resolution, Mamac and his group urged Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan to grant Lazatin's "indefinite medical leave of absence.”
Pamintuan was also asked to direct Mamac to "automatically exercise and perform the powers, duties and functions of the punong barangay."
Mamac claimed that this is pursuant to Sections 46 and 344 of the Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code.
Section 46 of RA 7160 states that "when the governor, city or municipal mayor, or punong barangay is temporarily incapacitated to perform his duties for physical or legal reasons such as, but not limited to, leave of absence, travel abroad, and suspension from office, the vice governor, city of municipal vice mayor, or the highest ranking Sangguniang Barangay member shall automatically exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the local chief executive concerned, except the power to appoint, suspend, or dismiss employees which can only be exercised if the period of temporary incapacity exceeds 30 working days.
As of press time Tuesday, Mamac said he will temporarily assume Lazatin's post despite Bonifacio's appointment.