VOTING 5-3, the Labangon Barangay Council made a stand yesterday on the Guadalupe split and the postponed plebiscite, and approved a resolution staking its claim on Rosalina Village and two other areas in the barangay.

Labangon First Councilor Victor Buendia was happy that the barangay council finally made a stand on the matter, and said that the resolution will strengthen the petition for prohibition he filed against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7 in holding the plebiscite.

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During the barangay council session yesterday morning, he sought the council’s support in stopping the plebiscite until the boundary issue is resolved. The plebiscite on the creation of Barangay Banawa-Englis was supposed to be held today.

In the resolution approved yesterday, the council asserted its claim over the land area where Rosalina Village, Sta. Ana and Paseo Arcenas are situated by manifesting to the Regional Trial Court Branch 58 and the Comelec Cebu City south district office that the said areas belong to its territory.

They also sought the inclusion of Labangon in the area of coverage of the plebiscite being a local government unit directly affected, since the three areas were proposed to be included in the new barangay to be created.

“We have to do something as barangay officials because this involves our constituents, and we can’t just leave them alone. We have to make a stand if we will fight this or if you don’t want to protect our territory and people and if you want to just let go of them,” Buendia told the council.

He and four other councilors then voted to approve the resolution while three others—Councilors Norvic Abella, Segundo Hermosa and Ronald Dagatan—voted against it.

Barangay Captain Felix Abella said they will submit a copy of their resolution to RTC Branch 58 Judge Gabriel Ingles and Comelec and will wait to be summoned for the hearings.

They will also take it upon themselves to check the boundaries of Labangon and look for the markers delineating its territorial jurisdiction.

Shortly after the session, Abella and Rep. Antonio Cuenco (Cebu City, south district) met each other at the Bureau of Lands office to find out where exactly Rosalina Village is located and whether or not it is part of Labangon’s or Guadalupe’s territory.

Cuenco, who proposed Republic Act 9905 that seeks to create Barangay Banawa-Englis, dug up some maps and other records at the Bureau of Lands office but failed to get answers to his questions.

A document showed that Rosalina Village is located in Cebu City, but does not specify the barangay. Cuenco said, though, that the initial finding is that the village sits on the boundary of Labangon and Guadalupe.

“As of now, we’re not yet definite where it is located. What I do know, based on the survey where they inquired from people in the area, is that the people in Rosalina said they are from Guadalupe,” Cuenco said.

Despite the obstacles to the creation of the new barangay, the congressman said he would continue to work to make sure the plebiscite pushes through.

“The creation of Banawa Englis is undergoing some birth pains but we can surmount the obstacles. Eventually, the baby will be born,” he continued.

On Monday, 10 officers and members of the United Banawa Englis Association Inc. will file a petition to dissolve the temporary restraining order (TRO) and a motion to intervene and appear during the hearings on the petition filed by Buendia.

Cuenco said he will also appear as a “friend of the court” to tell the judge the pros and cons of the bill and other important facts. “I think I can guide the court in delving into the truth,” he said.

The plebiscite for the creation of Barangay Banawa-Englis was postponed after Ingles ordered the Comelec to refrain within 20 days from proceeding with the exercise.

Buendia, who is on his second term as barangay councilor and a member of Rosalina Village Homeowners’ Association, sought the issuance of a TRO.

He stands to lose his residency and might even be disqualified as barangay councilor of Labangon if the village will become part of Barangay Banawa-Englis.