Friday, January 10, 2014

Binmaley Liga Prexy Rivals Collide Anew

Balogo Brgy. Chairman Douglas delos Angeles
waits for his name to be called by the presiding
officer of the Sangguniang Bayan of Binmaley.
His invitation to the August Body in January
 7, 2014 was a result of his letter to Vice Mayor
 Pedro Merrera arguing that
he is the duly elected President of the League of
 Barangay and not the Vice Mayor 's brother
lawyer and Malindong Brgy. Chairman
Arsenio Merrera.

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
BINMALEY - The struggle between the two claimants for the presidency of the League of Barangays (Liga ng mga Barangays) in this town heats up again after both of them met at the recent session of the Sangunian Bayan (town council).
With two lawyers in tow, Balogo Barangay Chairman Douglas delos Angeles protested in the council that he was the duly elected president of the League after 16 village chiefs elected him in the election held here in December 9 last year.
“When I and my officers took our oath with Governor (Amado T.) Espino in December 3 I was surprised to hear that on December 30 (2013) there was already a revocation of my confirmation. Bakit ganoon kabilis?” he posed.
Delos Angeles said the revocation by Ricojudge Echiverri, president of the National League of Barangay, was suspicious since it did not give them any minutes of meetings of the league’s board before Echiverri signed the revocation.
Delos Angeles’ lawyer Adel Velasquez told this town’s council that the position of Acting Liga President Arsenio Merrera has been under a cloud of doubts since the national league did not declare a failure of election when delos Angeles got the mandates of the majority of village chiefs who attended the December 9 election.
Ex-Officio Member of the Sanguniang Bayan of
Binmaley Arsenio Merrera  (Left) rebuts the
arguments of the lawyer
of his rival for the League of Barangay Balogo
Chairman delos Angeles.
“Is Attorney Merrera holding on a holdover capacity? Was there a failure of election? Was there a certificate of continuation for him to be the acting president of the Liga?” he asked the council.
Merrera chided Velasquez for his rash to jump into a conclusion without studying the facts thoroughly.
“Companero you should have conducted your research before coming to this August Body? Your allegations were not supported by law. You’re still young”.
Merrera narrated to Velasquez and lawyer John Bigay that he was elected as village chief of Malindong, elected as vice president of the Liga when the Liga president was barred by law to continue because he ended his third and last term as barangay chairman, that he, by operation of law, became the president as ordered by the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Merrera said delos Angeles could not be the lawful president as he bypassed him as acting president to call for the meetings and the election proper. He said even the representatives from the Department of Education, DILG, Commission on Election, and the Non-Government Organization did not sign the election canvass after delos Angeles and officers win in that election.
Delos Angeles lawyers Adel Velasquez listens
attentively to the legal arguments coached to
him by renowned lawyer John Bigay.
I am not obsessed with the position we have to apply the rule of law. And whoever will win I am always willing to vacate this position,” Merrera explained.
 When Vice Mayor Pedro Merrera, the presiding officer and brother of the Liga acting president, asked every member of the SB their opinion on the plight of delos Angeles and his brother, the eight members of the body unanimously declared that the council here is not the proper body to resolve the dispute but the national league.
“The national league should resolve pronto the case,” Councilor Ellen Alipio opined in Filipino.
The first tension-filled encounter of delos Angeles and Merrera  was in  December 9 last year when the former called his 16 village chiefs for the election of the new set of the Liga.
In that meeting Merrera lectured delos Angeles and his supporters on the provision of the Code of the Liga ng Barangay and the legal consequences that await them and the supervising representatives from the DILG, Comelec, Dep Ed and the NGO, who would transform the meeting into an election.
Despite the protestations of delos Angeles to rebut the allegations of Merrera  the latter instead banged the gavel on the table and told the attendees that he just adjourned the meeting.
But delos Angeles and the village chiefs pushed through with the election with delos Angeles getting elected as president.

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