DILG urged to intervene in Mambaling leadership spat
Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - June 4, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak is calling on the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to resolve the conflict among officials of Barangay Mambaling as this has already affected the delivery of basic services.

The City Council could not place the barangay under state of calamity after the fire last week because the barangay council failed to make a declaration on their level.

Tumulak said the barangay should do its part first before the City Council can make a declaration as provided for under the Local Government Code (LGC).

“The declaration of the barangay will serve as the basis of the city council to declare a state of calamity. From the barangay level, it will be submitted to the local disaster management office which in turn will pass a recommendation to the City Council. That’s the time the City Council can declare a state of calamity so that both the city and barangay calamity funds can be used,” Tumulak told The FREEMAN.

The barangay council of Mambaling cannot form a quorum due to the reported absence of other barangay councilors.

Acting chairwoman Anne Marie Vestil Palomo said since she assumed office, four councilors allied with the suspended barangay captain Gines Abellana, who reportedly continues to function as the punong barangay, are always absent.

Tumulak said the current situation in Mambaling have affected the residents because it hampers the delivery of basic services.

Recently, hundreds of individuals lost their homes to a fire that hit sitios Huyong-Huyong and Puntod.

“I pity the fire victims.  Our priority is to give help to the fire victims,” he said.

Tumulak is also asking Palomo to call the attention of the other barangay councilors so that they can declare a state of calamity.

The barangay councilors should also cooperate since Palomo is the authorized person who can function as punong barangay since Abellana is suspended.

Yesterday, Palomo said she hopes the DILG can help address the current situation in the barangay.

The FREEMAN tried to get the side of Atty. Ian Kenneth Lucero of DILG but he was not available as of press time.

Meantime, the only help that the city government can extend to the fire survivors are the packed meals, financial assistance amounting to P20,000 each family and housing materials which are distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS).

Last Friday afternoon, the two sitios were hit by a fire which damaged 80 houses, displacing 150 families and 800 individuals.

Meanwhile, Abellana filed administrative and criminal cases against Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) officials over his suspension from office before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas last March 20.

The cases are gross ignorance of the law and ordinance, grave abuse of discretion without due regard of the law and ordinance, grave abuse of authority and violation of anti-graft and corrupt practices act.

Respondents of the case are Mayor Tomas Osmeña, councilors Tumulak, Sisinio Andales, Eugenio Gabuya Jr., Alvin Arcilla, Mary Ann de los Santos, Jerry Guardo, Joy Augustus Young, Franklyn Ong, Jessica Resch and Palomo.

“As elected officials of the Cebu City they should act fairly and squarely on matters and problems prevailing without giving due advantage to their own political allies but for the social and necessary welfare of the people which they have vowed to serve,” portion of Abellana’s complaint read.

In the respondents’ joint counter-affidavit dated May 30, among of their rebuttals are the decision of the City Council against elective official is final and executory, the pending appeal of the complainant in the Office of the President is premature, and the complainant is abusing his authority for withholding the honoraria of four councilors.

Further, the respondents are asking the Ombudsman for the dismissal of the cases for lack of merit.

To recall, the Committee of Three in the north district issued a ruling to suspend Abellana from office for not releasing the honoraria of four barangay councilors which was later on approved by the City Council dominated by BOPK councilors. (FREEMAN)

DAVID TUMULAK
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