Capitol denies meddling in Liga federation affairs

THE Provincial Legal Office has denied the allegation that the office of the Governor is meddling in the internal affairs of the Liga ng mga Barangay Provincial Federation (LnB).

Legal Officer Atty. Geraldine Baniqued made the clarification amid the controversy surrounding the succession issue of LnB’s presidency post, particularly the charge of LnB Pangasinan Vice-President Edgardo Fontalera of Dasol, then acting president, that the office of the Governor was meddling in LnB’s internal affairs.

She said her office received a letter last October 27, 2020 from the Liga informing her of plans to fill vacant top posts since then Liga President Arth Bryan Celeste was eventually elected mayor of Alaminos City, but Jose Peralta Jr., who took over as per rule of succession, died on October 3.

Since the Liga is an independent body, Baniqued said she routinely endorsed the matter to the National LnB for its advice and guidance for proper procedure.

She cited the LnB reply letter signed by national president Eden Chua-Pineda, that affirmed that the Liga Constitution and by-laws state a vacant position may be filled by an election of bonafide and incumbent members.

In an interview, Baniqued said it was at the request of the majority members asking the office of the Governor to assist in disseminating the information about the special meeting and election on December 9.

Baniqued also refuted claim of Fontalera that he was not informed, nor signatures of the members were not included in the notice sent to him.

She said only one of four pages in the attached notice were shown by Fontalera. The signatures made by the members were printed in other pages requesting for a special meeting.

She added the use of the Pangasinan Training Center as election venue by the LnB was not illegal, as any office or agency may request to use it.

Baniqued also said the LnB special meeting was done in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), not with her office.

“Even the provincial election officer Atty. Marino Salas, who is also member of the board of election supervisors, was present”, said Baniqued. (Ahikam Pasion)

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