New brgy officials sworn into office; terms start Saturday
Provincial as well as local chief executives were kept busy yesterday administering the oath to barangay officials who will serve a three-year term starting at noon of Nov. 30.
Oscar Banzon, a priest who was suspended by the local Catholic archdiocese for running in the last elections, was among the newly-elected barangay captains who took their oaths of office.
Banzon, who won as chairman of barangay Kawit in Medellin town, took his oath before Gov. Hilario Davide III with Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale as principal witness. Four members of his council — Flordeliz Forteza, Faustino Villarin, Rosalie Meralles and Tirso Seares – were also sworn in yesterday at the provincial capitol.
“I will try my best to answer the needs of my constituents especially on improving the different aspects of their life,” said the 55-year-old Banzon who was earlier stripped of his priestly duties by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma a week before the Oct. 28 for violating the Canon law.
Banzon defeated reelectionist barangay captain Charito Areglado with a slim margin of 83 votes by garnering 1,210 votes against 1,127.
His victory came as a disappointment to Medellin Mayor Ricky Ramirez who earlier said he “lost his respect for Banzon” when the priest decided to run for office.
Banzon’s administration will be put to the test with the tremendous challenge of rebuilding his coastal barangay that was among those devastated by supertyphoon Yolanda.
“We will reach out with the private sector, NGOs (nongovernment organization), LGUs (local government units) especially with the provincial government to rebuild,” he told Cebu Daily News.
He said Davide assured him of the provincial government’s support.
The seaside barangay of Kawit with 15 sitios and more than 4,355 registered voters is the biggest barangay in the sugarcane-producing town.
In Cebu City, officials of barangay Tejero led by reelected captain Jesselou Cadungog were sworn into office yesterday by Mayor Michael Rama.
Cadungog, a vocal critic of the mayor, said that since the election is over, the time has come for them to cooperate with the mayor and make sure that their projects get City Hall support.
After the oath-taking ceremony, Cadungog immediately reminded Rama of his need to approve the P3 million rehabilitation project for Gaisano Street located near their barangay hall.
“Naa pa sa imong la mesa. Wala pa na nimo napirmahan,” Cadungog told Rama. (It’s on your desk, you have not signed it yet.)
“ Hain man? If for the good of the people ato gyud na pirmahan,” was Rama’s reply. (Where is it? If it’s for the good of the people I will surely sign it.)
Cadungog and his councilors initially took their oaths of office before Cebu City north district Representative Raul del Mar in a ceremony organized by the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan party last Nov. 10.
The Tejero officials were invited to the mass oathtaking which was organized by the Office of the Mayor in Nov. 11 but they did not show up.
Before the swearing in rites started, Cadungog sent a text message to former mayor Tomas Osmeña, the titular head of the BO-PK, and told him about their appearance at City Hall as a courtesy to their political leader.
In Mandaue City, Mayor Jonas Cortes administered the oaths of office to 27 barangay captains and 189 barangay councilmen at the Mandaue City Sports Complex last night. A total of 16 barangay captains were given a renewed mandate while 11 will be starting their new terms.
In his speech Mayor Cortes urged the barangay officials to start their tasks in serving the people with their respective commitments. “I know that you are more than capable of making sure that your constituents are justified with their choice of leaders,” he said. Cortes called on the community politicians to forget their conflicts and start to serve the people. “Always remember that what was handed to you by the people is not the position of power. It is a mandate to serve. It was not a privilege of the few but rather than it is a privilege to serve the many,” he said. / with Chief of Reporters Doris Bongcac and Reporter Jucell Marie Cuyos