Cebu News

Comelec unseats sitting Punta Engaño captain

Christell Fatima Tudtud - The Freeman
Comelec unseats sitting Punta Engaño captain
The decision comes barely three weeks before the barangay elections on May 14.

CEBU, Philippines — The Commission on Elections en banc has proclaimed former Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City councilor Diosaminda Hayashi as the rightful winner for village chief in the 2013 elections, not the sitting barangay captain Lourdes Ibag.

The decision comes barely three weeks before the barangay elections on May 14.

Hayashi, however, said she will still sit as barangay captain for the remaining days of her term. As for Ibag, she said she would no longer appeal the Comelec decision, even if the result “was not justifiable.”

Hayashi is running for barangay captain this year. Ibag will also be running but only for barangay councilor under the slate of barangay captain candidate Crisanto Baring.

In its decision dated April 20, the Comelec en banc declared that Hayashi’s victory is “final and executory.”

Based on the final ruling, Hayashi got more than 150 votes against Ibag during the 2013 elections.

Initially, Ibag was declared the winner in 2013, but doubting the results, Hayashi filed a protest before the Comelec.

In 2014, former Lapu-Lapu City judge Allan Francisco Garciano declared Hayashi the true winner of the elections but Ibag’s camp got suspicious of the results of the recount, which prompted her to appeal before the Comelec en banc in Manila.

Ibag filed a motion for reconsideration before the Electoral Contests Adjudication Department (ECAD) of the Comelec en banc twice – last May and December in 2014 –  but both were denied.

Sought for comment, Ibag said she is willing to relinquish her post once Hayashi could show the necessary documents proving that she is the winner that year.

She said though that she has received the order through the barangay secretary.

“Wala na, basta duna lang sila'y ebidensya nga papers nga sila nidaog. Apan dili kaayo makatarunganon siya modaug kay number 3 lang during sa election 2013. Dapat ang mo-protest kay si Jimmy Daño kay number 2,” Ibag told The FREEMAN in a phone interview.

“Ako na gi-andam ang tanan sa mopuli nako pag-lingkod isip kapitan sa Baranagy Punta Engaño andam na ko mohatag sa tanang mga butang sa barangay except lang  sa akong personal (nga butang),” she added.

Hayashi has welcomed the Comelec’s decision and expressed that she would still sit as barangay captain even if only for days.

“Bisag pila ka semana nalang ang mahabilin, ato ipakita sa constituents nga kita ang nakadaog sa Barangay Punta Engaño,” Hayashi told reporters yesterday at the Lapu-Lapu City Hall of Justice.

Hayashi is now waiting for the issuance of the writ of execution from the justice hall.

Ibag left a piece of advice for Hayashi: “Ako lang siya ingnon nga tarungon ang barangay. Pagserbisyo sa katawhan dili ingon nga kwartahay. Ang pagserbisyo sa katawhan pagdumala sa barangay.”

She was also thankful for her constituents for supporting her during her stint as barangay captain. — KBQ (FREEMAN)


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