Priest turned ‘kapitan’ to take oath in Capitol
Suspended priest Oscar Banzon will take his oath of office as barangay captain of Kawit in Medellin town before the top two government leaders of the province.
Banzon went to the Capitol yesterday morning and paid a courtesy visit on Vice Governor Agnes Magpale. “He expressed his intention to take his oath before me and Gov. (Hilario) Davide. He was supposed to do it now but since Gov. Davide is not here this morning, we decided to look for another date for the oathtaking ceremony,” Magpale said.
During his 30-minute visit, Banzon relayed to Magpale his plans for his barangay where he won with a margin of 79 votes against the incumbent barangay captain.
Magpale said Banzon, who will assume his post on December 1, identified the sitios in barangay Kawit that need assistance particularly on road development.
“He seems to be very knowledgeable about the barangay affairs. We talked about his barangay’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) which amounts to about P2.4 million. He also mentioned the problems of the barangay. I told him that when you come back after the oathtaking, we will discus this again and I might be able to help,” the vice governor said.
“He told me that what he’s going to do as barangay captain is still a form of serving God. That’s what he told me. I reminded him about service. If I were to give him an advice, it would be for him to be a good barangay captain, to be a good public servant,” she added.
Magpale said she did not bother to ask about Banzon’s personal life, including the councilwoman whom the priest admitted to be his girlfriend. “We only talked about barangay affairs,” she said. Banzon mentioned his mother who felt bad about his electoral victory and relationship with a woman that was publicized.
Magpale said Banzon was set to meet with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma after visiting the Capitol.
But Palma’s secretary, Fr. Mhar Balili, said he doesn’t know of any meeting between the archbishop and Banzon. “Fr. Banzon has no appointment with Archbishop Palma (today),” Fr. Balili said.
Palma earlier suspended Banzon for filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) last October 16. Under canon law, any priest who seeks an elective office shall be suspended automatically of his priestly duties.
This means the priest could not celebrate the sacraments like saying Mass, hearing confessions and solemnizing marriages. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter