Election lawyer Atty. Romulo “Mac” Macalintal sent me an email warning that the third postponement of the scheduled barangay elections is a violation of the Constitution. Atty. Mac pointed out, “Indeed, the dangerous effect of such a scheme is that if it can be done for barangay officials, what could prevent Congress from cancelling the election for other elective officials, like the President down to the last position of councilor, and extend their respective terms of office.
“This practice clearly violates the democratic system of our government where we could only be governed by leaders who have our free and voluntary mandate, and not by those who were only imposed upon us by legislation, whether we like them or not. To postpone a scheduled barangay election for the first time may be tolerable; postponing it the second time may be bearable; but to postpone it again for the third time is already untenable and so unreasonable. Sobra na, tama na.”
While I don’t disagree with Atty. Macalintal’s observations, I also believed that the Duterte administration had the right motive in postponing the barangay elections because too many narco politicians control a huge number of barangay officials all over the country and for as long as these people are in place or in power, they would certainly use their huge advantage over their political opponents. But like I said, Atty. Mac is correct that a third postponement maybe unconstitutional. So to solve this issue, I suggest that Atty. Mac file this question before the Supreme Court so we can resolve this issue once and for all and we’d finally know if we are going to have a barangay elections or not.
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With the mid-term elections already happening next year, the local officials in Cebu City, especially those opposed to incumbent Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña are already preparing to do battle with him for the mayoralty seat of Cebu City. Members of Team Rama who won most of the City Council seats in Cebu City have taken their oaths before the PDP-Laban. Notable among them is incumbent Vice-Mayor Edgardo Labella who took his oath of office before House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez as Cebu City chapter president.
Then a few days ago, we learned that former Camputhaw Barangay Captain Lorenzo Basamot has been appointed as vice president of the PDP-Laban Cebu City chapter by DENR Undersecretary Noel Felongco who is the regional president of PDP-Laban. To add to the confusion, according to PDP-Laban provincial president Nixon Dizon, they recognized Lorna Roa Bacalla as president of the PDP-Laban Cebu City chapter. The Freeman headlined this news as a coming leadership war within the PDP-Laban.
What is needed here is for the national leadership of the PDP-Laban to settle this issue once and for all, while the local elections are still far away. First of all, who is Lorna Bacalla anyway? What is her claim to fame with the PDP-Laban? This is the problem with the PDP-Laban party these days, there are just too many cooks that literally spoil the broth!
To resolve this issue, PDP-Laban vice-chairman for committee on membership Department of Tourism (DOT) Asec. Daniel Ebarle Mercado issued this official statement yesterday saying “The PDP Laban Region 7 Council has already concluded that Vice Mayor Labella is the choice for Cebu City. The party obviously has serious plans for him. It’s only just a matter of time and in the very near future.
I, as a vice chairman for party membership discussed this during the Dec. 18, 2017 membership committee meeting and it was agreed that Vice Mayor Labella will only have to submit his necessary requirements (which he did last Jan. 22 and this was already received last Feb. 6) and undergo basic membership seminar (BMS).National Secretary General Speaker Alvarez among others also acknowledges this and its just a matter of time he completes the final stage which is his BMS and he will be an official PDP Laban associate member which means he at that point is a legitimate member of the party. Yes he has not completed hisBMS , however I can tell you that once he does, he will be authorized to restructure the Cebu City chapter.”
Let’s hope that this statement by Asec. Mercado will not be contested by DENR Undersecretary Noel Felongco so as not to confuse the people supporting the PDP-Laban party. A simple word for those who claim to belong to the PDP-Laban regardless of who they are… there is an age old saying that is still very relevant today, especially in the world of politics…”United we stand, divided we fall!” At this point, let me say it here loud and clear that the best person to do battle with Mayor Osmeña and stands the highest chance of winning the Mayor’s seat is Vice-Mayor Edgardo Labella. However, he can only win if the PDP-Laban party is united behind his candidacy!
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