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Manila’s barangay league prexy welcomes deferment of barangay elections

Manila City Councilor and Liga ng mga Barangay
Manila City Councilor and Liga ng mga Barangay President Lei Lacuna (2nd from right) at the MACHRA's Balitaan, a forum hosted by the Manila City Hall Reporters' Association (MACHRA). Also in photo are (from left) moderator and MACHRA President Itchie Cabayan, MTPB Adviser and Consultant Dennis Viaje, Congressman Joel Chua (3rd district) and (right) moderator and Vice President Andi Garcia. (JERRY S. TAN)

MANILA City Councilor Dr. Lei Lacuna said the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) of which she is the President, welcomes the decision of the Commision on Election (Comelec) to move the filing of certificates of candidacy (CoCs) for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to a later date.

Speaking at the MACHRA’s Balitaan sa Harbour View forum hosted by the Manila City Hall Reporters’ Association (MACHRA), Lacuna said the barangays are in favor of the decision since it would give them more time to implement their projects without being accused of early politicking.

“Mas okay ‘yun para sa amin. Nagulat nga kami na na-schedule nang maaga, supposed to be. Mas pabor sa amin (rescheduling) kasi maiiwasan rin namin na masabing namumulitika,” she said.

Lacuna, who is chairman of Barangay 609 in Sta. Mesa, Manila’s District 6, also explained that each barangay has lined up projects in the past that need to be implemented and that it is their job to carry out such plans that would benefit their constituents.

“Marami kaming project na kailangang gawin so, pag nag-file ‘yung iba ng July baka sabihin ng mga residente ginagamit namin ang budget ng barangay which is hindi naman kasi dapat ang barangay, lagi naming nasa isip kung ano ang maibibigay na serbisyo sa barangay,” she said.

By moving the filing of the CoCs to a later date, Lacuna said: “…at least mawawala sa isipan ng mga nasasakupan na ginagamit at gumagawa ng proyekto ang isang barangay dahil kami ay nag-file ng certificate of candidacy.”

Comelec chairman George Garcia had announced that the filing of CoCs for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections has been rescheduled from July to August this year, to ensure that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (Philippine National Police) will be most prepared, especially because of the violence currently victimizing local officials.

The poll body had been asked by lawmakers to delay the COC filing, saying conducting it in July would only burden the local government units (LGUs) due to election-related restrictions under the Omnibus Election Code.

Unlike the national elections, Garcia said those who file their COCs during the prescribed period would be considered candidates and are subject to the Omnibus Election Code.

Lacuna said that the postponement of the CoC filing would also help the local government unit (LGU) perform well since it would ease restrictions brought about by worries of being accused of premature campaigning.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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