National Barangay Liga sanctions special elections

PROVINCIAL LIGA’S SUCCESSION ISSUE

THE controversial succession issue to the presidency continues to hound the Liga ng Barangay Provincial Federation after a special election attended by 27 of its 47 members elected a new president to replace its president who died of COVID-19 in November.

Even as National Liga president Eden Chua Pineda, affirmed that the special elections that elected Jinky Zaplan (Sta. Barbara) as new president and  Giovanni Bugarin, (Basista) as vice president was in accordance with the constitution and by-laws of the national Liga ng Barangay, Edgardo Fontelera (Dasol) as acting president, filed administrative complaints with the Ombudsman on December 15.

Provincial Legal Officer Geraldine Baniqued confirmed Pineda’s position citing the latter’s letter in response to her (Baniqued) query on the issue:

Quoting from the letter of Pineda, Baniqued cited:

  1. Article 12, Section 20 of the constitution and by-laws of the Liga states that in case of vacancy in the office of the vice president of the chapter or the office of the executive Vice President, “the same shall be filled up through election among the bonafide members.”
  2. There existed vacancy in the positions of both the President and Vice President because Peralta, then Vice President of the provincial Liga, succeeded former President Arth Brian Celeste who left the post upon his election as mayor of Alaminos City.
  3. The 27 members called a special meeting on December 1 and sent a notice of special meeting all Liga members signed by 27 members of the Liga.
  4. The election on December 9 of Zaplan and Boquiren was presided over by Provincial Elections Supervisor Marino Salas and witnessed by DILG Provincial Officer Paulino Lalata.
  5. Zaplan was already recognized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in its special session before the year ended as Liga provincial federation president and ex-officio SP member.

However, Fontelera, called a press conference on January 4 and slammed the election and stressed that the Board of Directors, which was in existence, already named him as president and he took his oath of office before DILG Secretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Dino in November.

Fontelera accused the office of the governor and the provincial legal office as having unduly intervened in the affairs of the Liga ng Barangay, a charge that was denied by Provincial Legal Officer Baniqued who said that her office only endorsed the letter of Mimi Sison (Aguilar) asking for guidelines in filling up vacancies in the Liga provincial chapter.

Fontalera filed complaints before the Ombudsman against:

1. Eden Chua Pineda, national president, for allegedly committing acts constituting a violation of Section 3 (e) and (f) of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act;
2. Mimi Sison who acted as secretary during the Liga special meeting on December 1 and who sent notices on November 24 using official mail envelopes from the Office of the Governor;
3. Richard Palisoc who was acting presiding officers during the special meeting presided over special election on December 9. (Leonardo Micua)

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