THE proclamation of three winners in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023 in Cebu who have pending disqualification cases, continues to be suspended as of Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023.
Omar Sharif Mamalinta, Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Cebu Provincial spokesperson and Carcar City head, said Wednesday that reelectionists Maguikay Barangay Captain Eduardo Gumera of Mandaue City, Valladolid Barangay Captain Anthony John Apura of Carcar City, and Gian Vincent Sinda, who ran for barangay councilor in Buanoy, Balamban, remained unable to assume their positions.
Mamalinta said they are still waiting for directives or a decision from the Comelec en banc in Manila concerning the matter.
Other newly-elected BSKE officials assumed office a month after the elections last Oct. 30.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Mandaue Office Director Johnjoan Mende said Thursday, Dec. 7, the DILG had already released a mandate for the first councilors or the second-highest ranking Sanggunian member to temporarily fill in the positions and act as officer-in-charge.
Meanwhile, the city mayor will make the appointments to fill the remaining empty positions based on the recommendation of the barangay and SK governing body, as per Comelec.
Mende said the elected candidates with pending proclamation will not be eligible to receive a monthly honorarium until they are formally proclaimed. On average, a barangay chairperson gets P7,900 per month, and a barangay councilor receives P5,900 monthly.
On Oct. 25, the Comelec issued an omnibus order, listing candidates running in the BSKE with pending administrative charges and complaints for disqualification. Included in the list for Central Visayas were Gumera, Apura, and Sinda.
It also approved suspending their proclamation should they win the BSKE.
Gumera was found guilty of an attempt to commit child prostitution, a crime under Section 6 of the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, while Apura was convicted as an accomplice to the crime of murder.
Comelec 7 Director Lionel Marco Castillano did not disclose the details of Sinda’s disqualification case but said the Comelec en banc found a valid basis to suspend his proclamation if he were to emerge a winner.
Gumera and Apura said in an earlier SunStar report the order to suspend the proclamation and the disqualification complaints they received were merely “political schemes” by their opponents, adding that they are confident these will get resolved in no time.
On the other hand, Sinda declined to comment on the matter, unless his lawyers give him the go-ahead.
Earlier, the Comelec announced that its First and Second Divisions aimed to finalize the list of decided disqualification cases within two weeks after the elections, allowing winning candidates to promptly assume their duties.