OPPOSING camps in the southern town of Barili, Cebu called for reconciliation, as Vice Mayor Teresito Mariñas urged a “panag-uli sa maayong kabubut-on (a return to good relations).”
Reelected Third District Rep. Gwen Garcia said last May’s elections were the most divisive, and compared candidates of both camps to birds: the blue tikarol, or kingfisher, for her brother Marlon, who won the mayoral seat under the One Cebu Party, and the yellow antulihao, or oriole, for Mariñas, who is a member of the Liberal Party.
During the campaign period, harsh words were exchanged, Gwen said.
Time for healing
But Mariñas said the election is over and people already made their choice.
“It is the time for healing and reconciliation,” he said, urging everyone to leave behind partisan politics.
Yesterday’s oath-taking and turnover ceremonies started with a concelebrated mass inside the Barili Sports Complex.
After the mass a program was held where Marlon and Gwen delivered speeches.
He announced that he will execute an executive order today for the free use of the town’s ambulance. He also said rural health units (RHUs) will be distributing free medicines, adding that an animal bite center will be established in the RHUs.
“So that access to anti-rabies and anti-tetanus vaccines shall be available for free,” he said.
The town will also provide a free coffin, a sack of rice and P2,000 bereavement assistance courtesy of the congresswoman to the family of a deceased constituent.
He said the town’s scholarship program will continue in partnership with Gwen’s office.
The congresswoman said change in the town can be achieved if both camps cooperate.
Mariñas assured the mayor that the Municipal Council, which he presides over, will support the latter’s program and it will provide legislation to advance the mayor’s development agenda.
“We will not stand in the way of all his development efforts,” the vice mayor said.
After their speeches, eight council members and the newly appointed Association of Barangay Councils president Nelson Gingoyon were inducted to office before Gwen.
Marlon also took his oath before Gwen, while she took her oath before him.
There was a ceremonial turnover of the key from outgoing vice mayor Jose Nemeño to Mariñas, and from Mariñas to Marlon.
Mariñas was mayor for three terms, from 2007 to 2013. He and Marlon were running mates in 2010. Both won, Mariñas as mayor and Marlon as vice mayor.
In 2013, Mariñas beat Marlon in the mayoralty race.