Cadungog steps down as Tejero councilman
Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - June 12, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Barangay Councilman Jessielou Cadungog of Tejero, Cebu City has stepped down from office because of his inability to fulfill his duties for almost 10 months since the attempt on his life last year.

A copy of his resignation letter showed he tendered his resignation on May 14. The Office of the Mayor and the Department of Interior and Local Government in Cebu City received it on May 29.

"Thank you for all the years that we have been together as one big family and joining our hands in serving our constituents. Thank you for all the support you have extended to me especially during the times when I needed you most," reads his letter addressed to Barangay Tejero Captain Hermogines Galang, Jr.

After the failed ambush on July 30, 2018, Cadungog went on leave for six months and, later, filed an extension for four months.

Former Tejero councilman Garry Lao told The FREEMAN that Cadungog informed his political group, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, about his plan to resign after the May 13 elections.

Lao said the resignation was Cadungog’s personal decision because he could no longer function well as a public servant due to the incident last year.

"He was not advised to resign. It was his personal decision to resign kay matod pa niya, it's almost 10 months that he was not able to attend to his responsibilities as barangay councilor because of the circumstances nga nahitabo sa iyaha last July," Lao said.

Morning on July 30, suspects on board a motorcycle tried to kill Cadungog and his driver in Barangay Tejero. Months later in November, unidentified men tried to set his house on fire.

Lao said Cadungog has been out of the country since for security reasons.

Lao said the vacant seat was offered to him first but he reportedly declined the offer to allow former Sangguniang Kabataan chairman Almar Carl Amen to step in.

"I've decided nga instead ako, ni-recommend ko sa barangay council nga why not si Amen lang, atong former SK chairman... Si Amen, considering that during his time as SK chairman, he is hardworking, at the same time, kaantigo ug kahibalo gyud sa iyahang trabaho," Lao said.

Last week, the Tejero council then passed a resolution accepting Cadungog’s resignation and recommending Amen as replacement. Amen took his oath of office before outgoing mayor Tomas Osmeña yesterday.

In a separate interview, Amen said he is grateful for the opportunity given to him. He said he is willing to take on the responsibility since has been in public service since his election as SK chairman in 2010.

“I was shocked because I was not expecting that the council would choose me. I was also very sad knowing about barangay councilman Cadungog’s resignation because he has been my second father especially in public office since my term as SK chair and his secretary for the last two years of his term. He taught me a lot gyud,” Amen said. (FREEMAN)

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