DILG rules Liga ng Barangay special election as defective

THE Department of Interior and Local Government ruled that the “Special Elections of the Liga ng mga Barangay-Pangasinan Chapter held on 09 December 2020 did not follow the electoral process”.

DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño’s Feb. 16 letter to Edgardo Fontelera whom he addressed as “acting president of the Liga ng mga Braangay-Pangasinan Chapter”, confirmed that based on the agency’s initial investigation, Provincial Liaison Officer Mel Magat of the National Liga ng mga Barangay had no authority nor capacity to call for the special election.

Diño added that there was no representative from the DILG or from the National Liga ng mga Barangay to supervise the conduct of the said election.

“As representative of the Department to the Liga ng mga Barangay, this office should have been properly informed or invited to the said election,” he added.

Copy of Diño’s letter to Fontelera was furnished to the regional and provincial DILG respectively and the Vice Governor of Pangasinan. It was hand-carried by Diño’s staff to these offices on Feb. 18.

This election being questioned by Fontelera, Liga ng mga Barangay president of Dasol, had installed Jeanne Jinky Zaplan, Liga ng mga Barangay president of Sta. Barbara town, as the Liga ng mga Barangay provincial federation president and now sits as an ex-officio member of the provincial board.

Fontelera was the vice president of the provincial Liga ng Barangay and assumed as acting president following the death of Board Member Jose Peralta due to COVID-19 in October last year.

In an earlier press conference, Fontelera alleged that “an unseen hand rocked the boat and caused the holding of a special meeting for the special election of Zaplan”. (Eva Visperas)

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