SOME active and regular members of the award-winning Lupong Tagapamayapa in Cebu City’s barangays agreed yesterday to question the legality of the election last July 3 in their league.

Some inactive members and even non-members of the Liga ng mga Lupong Tagapamayapa were allegedly allowed to run and eventually won in that election, where 15 board members were picked.

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Pahina Central Lupon vice chairman Rey Galas, who arranged for yesterday’s meeting in the barangay, said they want the election to be declared null and void.

The Lupong Tagapamayapa are supposed to mediate in neighborhood disputes, as one way to prevent cases from reaching the courts. In the city, there are about 800 Lupon members. The law prescribes at least 10 but not more than 20 members of the Lupong Tagapamayapa in each barangay.

Galas said as soon as they finish the draft of their complaint this week, they will immediately file it with the Cebu City Council and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Amo gyud ning i-file karong semanaha kay dili mahimo na nga ang mangulo unya namo sa liga, dili Lupon member sa ila mismong barangay (We have to file this within the week, because we cannot allow the election of league officials who are not even Lupon members in their own barangays),” Galas said.

The 15 newly elected board members were proclaimed Saturday and will convene on Sunday. They will elect the officers of the league: the president, vice-presidents for the north and south districts, secretary, treasurer, auditor and two public information officers, one for each district.

Outgoing Liga president Encarnacion Daño admitted four of the newly-elected board members are emeritus or no longer reappointed as Lupon members in their barangays.

They are Jesus Cabrada, Rudy Bayno, Herchel Bataluna and Daño herself. She is seeking another term as president of the league.

Daño said heir election last July 3 was in consonance with their constitution and by-laws.

Section 2, Article 4 of the Liga constitution and by-laws states the association shall be managed by the Board of Directors, composed of 15 members.

Regular, emeritus and “life members” of good standing are qualified to run. A regular membership is extended to Lupon members currently serving as such, for a membership fee of P200 every year.

Life membership is extended to the founding members upon its incorporation, but they also must pay P200 annually.

Emeritus members are those who have opted to retire or resign, have completed their term of three years, or were no longer

reappointed as Lupon members in their barangays.

Daño said there’s nothing wrong with letting emeritus members like her vote and be voted upon, since it is in accordance

with their constitution and by-laws.

The other regular Lupon members recently elected as board members are Teresita Rabor of Poblacion Pardo, Arthur Chavez of Santo Niño, Fe Bagano and Francia Empleo of Sambag I, Allan Llorando of San Nicolas Proper, Ike Parinasan and Nimfa Bontilao of Agsungot, Jovila Padilla of Duljo Fatima, Fred Sison of T. Padilla, John Batucan-Pahina of San Nicolas and Teresita Jomao-as of Barangay Parian.

Daño was surprised when she learned Galas initiated the complaint, when he was one of the Lupon members who drafted their constitution and by-laws.

Councilor Edgardo Labella, the City Council majority floor leader and chairman of the committee on laws, ordinances, public accountability and good government, declined to give his opinion on the impending complaint.

Labella had made the presentation that helped the city win the Galing Pook Award in 2007 for the exemplary performance of the Lupong Tagapamayapa.

Councilor Sisinio Andales, vice chairman of the committee on laws, urged the active Lupon members to question the Liga election.

He said emeritus members can become honorary members, but they can’t be elected as officers of the league.

“How can you represent a barangay if you are not even an active member? In case of problems, you cannot be held accountable before the ombudsman,” Andales explained.

Daño, however, said they welcome the impending complaint and are ready to defend their side when the time comes.(ETB)