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Cebu News

Controversy mars PCL national polls

Gregg M. Rubio - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Tension marred yesterday’s elections of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) following allegations of system failure and vote buying.

Attended by around 12,000 city and town councilors nationwide, the PCL held its National Congress at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City since Wednesday. The election of the league’s national officers was among the highlights of the event.

Prior to the election, incumbent PCL Chairman Danilo Dayanghirang of Davao City expressed his dismay over the alleged vote buying perpetrated the camp of his challenger, Councilor Jesciel Richard Salceda of Polangui, Albay.

This prompted PCL Central Visayas Chairman Raymond Garcia of Cebu City to ask his colleagues not to be affected by allegations of vote buying and let their voices be heard by voting for candidates based on their qualifications and their fitness for the position.

PCL Cebu President Francis Salimbangon also claimed to have been bullied by Salceda. Salimbangon expressed concern regarding the apparent attempt of Salceda to exert influence over him and the Cebu councilors.

In a letter to Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Salceda requested the replacement of Salimbangon as member of the PCL Commission on Elections claiming that the latter has expressed support for Dayanghirang.

“The truth is that Salceda, knowing fully well that I am a member of the Comelec, actively tried to obtain my support for his candidacy in an obvious attempt to influence me and the PCL Cebu councilors, to gain advantage in the PCL Elections. It is only because I refused to be partial to Salceda that he is now questioning my ability to be impartial,” Salimbangon said.

Salimbangon also pointed out for the record, that he has not betrayed any of his duties as member of the PCL Comelec, and he has stood for its impartiality by not allowing himself to be influenced by Salceda.

Salimbangon resigned as member of the PCL Comelec saying not because Salceda has impugned his integrity but because he respected the democratic process and he refused to be party to any underhanded attempts to sully the elections, his reputation, and the reputation of PCL Cebu.

The election was supposed to start at 1 PM yesterday but because of system failure of the automated process it was delayed. As of 5 PM yesterday the voting has yet to start.

Salceda reportedly moved to proceed with the manual voting but the PCL Comelec did not have enough materials.  FPL (FREEMAN)

PHILIPPINE COUNCILORS LEAGUE

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