AN ASSOCIATION that wants Banawa and Englis to become a new barangay removed from Guadalupe, Cebu City is confident the plebiscite for the proposed split will be held next month, five months after its postponement.
Jeffrey Cartilla, vice president of the United Banawa-Englis Association Inc. (UBEAI), said they expect the court to decide on the motion for reconsideration of Labangon Barangay Councilor Victor Buendia this week.
Buendia had filed a petition to stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from holding the plebiscite until the court sets the boundary of Labangon and Banawa.
Buendia had learned Rosalina Village, where he resides, is included in Republic Act (RA) 9905, which created the new barangay of Banawa-Englis.
However, Regional Trial Court Judge Gabriel Ingles dismissed Buendia’s case after the councilor failed to appear in two hearings.
Buendia filed a motion for reconsideration, though, explaining his absence.
But Cartilla is optimistic the court will again rule in their favor.
He said they expect that by the first week of August, after the judge’s leave ends, the court will rule on the matter.
“Nag-expect gyud mi nga by the first week of August dunay maayong balita nga among mapaabot (By the first week of August, we hope to hear good news about this),” Cartilla said.
He said the group hopes the plebiscite will be held in the third week of August, so they can catch up with scheduled activities in relation to the barangay elections in October.
RA 9905 states the first set of officials for barangay Banawa-Englis will be elected in a special election, to be conducted within 60 days after the majority ratifies the new barangay in the plebiscite.
Cebu City election officer for the south district Edwin Cadungog clarified the Comelec is just waiting for the resolution of the case, but is ready to conduct the plebiscite once they receive the court decision.
Malacañang has released P1.5 million to Comelec for the plebiscite, originally scheduled last March.
Buendia said he is determined to pursue the case even if Judge Ingles dismisses his motion for reconsideration.
“Mangita ta ug laing paagi, pwede man siguro ko nga makadangop sa Court of Appeals (We will look for other means, like going to the Court of Appeals),” Buendia said.
Buendia wants RA 9905 amended to exclude Rosalina Village from the new barangay.
A barangay councilor of Labangon since 2002, he is worried that his right of suffrage would be violated if the court rules Rosalina Village is indeed part of Guadalupe.
Buendia said his lawyer will submit a supplemental motion this week to strengthen their original motion for reconsideration.