To protect one’s barong

aug 26-sept 1, 2010


The current controversy over the election of the Philippine Councilors League-Davao del Norte is challenging all the legislative halls in the province since the allegations cover councilors. The allegations on vote buying should be still addressed even if the new PCL president and Boardmember Janrey Gavina had already answered and denied the allegations to be untrue.

On next Monday Boardmember Alan Dujali of Panabo City is expected to tell in the forum of the province’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan about what he knows on the alleged vote-buying stigmatizing the concluded PCL election, We also wait for the ex-PCL president and Kapalong councilor Helario Caminero to shed light on what he knows also about the PCL elections where he lost by a margin of only two votes.

There’s a gravity on the vote-buying allegation than what it seems to give a mirage of being just a simple victory out from the ordinariness of our elections. For one, the integrity of the PCL as a councilors’ organization is under question. And more so, the integrity of councilors and of the councilor’s position is directly under question.

We are expecting there would be silence of the lambs and conspiratorial silence from among those allegedly bought councilors in the current brouhaha, ottherwise we expect those who simply voted out of their free will to stand now to safeguard integrity.

But just as these allegations cropped up and were answered, there would still be need to put these into formal rest by  way of hearings and probe first by an independent committee of the PCL itself, then by the blue ribbon committee of the provincial board if only the PCL as an institution can be protected from being tarnished.

Since the cropping up of the PCL vote-buying issue many have already been clamoring to put it in the blue ribbon commitee given that the issue is within the jurisdiction of the provincial board as the PCL provincial representative is part and parcel of of the provincial board in the first place.

When the issues and allegations are formally addressed, investigated and completely resolved, regardless of results, only then that the PCL members and councilors can rise above and take pride of being legislators and public servants, even while the people who voted them to their exalted positions now can say they really have cared for honesty and good values in government and have protected their barongs from being tarnished.

Those who care for more on their being councilors, we hope, can initiate a formal step to probe the allegations. Otherwise, if there would be none, the PCL and the councilors in the province are ever clouded with a suspicion that somebody among them have received and accepted bribe money which bought their votes.  – Cha Monforte


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