Guadalupe plebiscite scheduled on July 28By Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
A PLEBISCITE to determine the sentiments of Guadalupe residents on a proposal to divide their barangay into two will be held on July 28.
They will decide whether to support the creation of a second barangay to be called Banawa-Englis.
Republic Act 9905 authored by former south district representative Antonio Cuenco was passed on Jan. 7, 2010 proposing the split.
Barangay Guadalupe, one of the biggest barangays in Cebu City has a voting population of 28,435 based on the April 2010 Election Registration Board (ERB) hearing.
Former mayor and now south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña lives in Guadalupe.
“We waited for this to happen over the last 25 years. We will campaign for the approval of the split,” Crispin Villaren said.
Villaren, president of the United Banawa-Englis Association, said residents of sitio Banawa located kilometers away from the Guadalupe barangay hall barely enjoy services from their barangay officials.
“With the requirements already complied with, I really hope that the plebiscite will already push through,” said Cuenco in a press conference held at his Banawa home.
Cuenco said that while he will campaign for a “yes” vote, “l will support whatever decision will be made” during the plebiscite.
Rep. Osmeña said in an earlier interview that he won’t vote in a plebiscite because he wanted to leave it up to other Guadalupe residents to decide on the split.
Barangay Guadalupe captain Michael Gacasan, Cuenco said, also told him in a recent conversation that they won’t oppose the plebiscite. Gacasan could not be reached for comment yesterday.
If the “yes” votes prevail in the plebiscite,residents who live along B. Rodriguez Street to the corner of Happy Valley Subdivision up to Rosalina Subdivision will already be made part of Banawa-Englis.
Special elections will be held after a 60 day period for residents of the newly created barangay Banawa-Englis to select their barangay officials.
While he authored the bill which allowed the split, Cuenco said he won’t be endorsing candidates for barangay officials in the Banawa-Englis special election.
Comelec will already start the posting of a computerized list of Guadalupe voters on Monday.
A gun ban will be imposed during the plebiscite period from June 25 to August 2 while the information campaign period was set from July 12 to 26.
The plebiscite committee will be constituted on July 20.
Casting of votes will be done from 7 a.m. to 3p.m. on July 28 while members of the plebiscite board of canvassers will convene starting at 6p.m.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) first ordered the conduct of a plebiscite on March 13, 2010 but this was stopped by a restraining order by Regional Trial Court branch 58 judge Gabriel Ingles.
Ingles wanted to hear first a civil case filed by now Labangon barangay captain Victor Buendia asking the RTC to prevent implementation of R.A. 9905 for fear that this will “infringe his right as a voter and resident of barangay Labangon.”
Buendia reasoned that the law will absorb the whole of Rosalina Village (where he resides) as part of the newly-created barangay Banawa-Englis.”
But Ingles denied Buendia’s petition for lack of merit.
Comelec commissioners agreed during an en banc meeting held on May 29 to pursue the conduct of the needed plebiscite on July 28.
“Even considering that the registered voters of Rasalina village are either registered in barangay Labangon or barangay Guadalupe, their number s not substantial enough to affect the results of the plebiscite,” the Comelec said.
The poll agency said the plebiscite will settle the correct place of residence of those registered voters residing in Rosalina Village, which will then be barangay Banawa-Englis” if it was ratified by residents.
In 2010, Comelec set aside P1.46 million as budget for the plebiscite of which P43,000 was already spent on supplies which included the printing of ballots.
Barangay officials in Guadalupe will be recognized as continuing in a “hold-over capacity” “assuming that the yes votes prevail in the plebescite.”
“Unless there are personalities that will exist and there are complete slate of officials that’s the time, there will be an election for new barangay officials,” said Comelec south district officer Edwin Cadungog.
Cadungog said he believed there won’t be special elections for the Banawa-Englis officials since the barangay elections is just 18 months away.
Guadalupe has 179 precincts clustered to 79 based on the ERB.
“In one precinct, there’s a maximum of 200 voters and two precincts in every cluster,” Cadungog said. With Correspondent Tweeny M. Malinao