EDITORIAL - Partisan politics
(The Freeman) - April 15, 2018 - 12:00am

Barangay officials are supposed to follow the rules of being non-partisan. They are supposed to be free from any interference from higher officials when it comes to the political affairs of the barangay, the smallest local government unit.

But for decades, it has been ordinary for many candidates for barangay posts to court whatever support from mayors or congressmen, In fact, many of them often rely on the financial help from local political organizations to get elected.

It cannot be denied that any outside help is crucial to a candidate's effort to win. That is why it has become normal for many barangay candidates to align themselves with the political organization of the mayors or congressmen or governors.

Of course, a win by his barangay candidates is very important for a mayor as far as his political survival is concerned. He is expected to fight it out in order to amass as many supporters from among barangay officials if he wants to stay in power.

In Cebu City, for instance, city officials from the administration and opposition are now busy monitoring the situation in the barangays, seeing to it their candidates are well-positioned to win the election as the filing of the certificate of candidacy kicks off.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña has vowed to barnstorm the barangays as part of his campaign to gain control over the City Council. He wants the next Association of Barangay Councils president to come from Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan so his party will have the upper hand at the council.

Well, the opposition, Barug PDP-Laban, is also gearing up in its bid to maintain its hold over the barangay. Of the city's 80 barangays, the opposition has 65, leaving the BOPK with only 15. Opposition leader Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said they expect a huge victory for their barangay candidates.

As the May 14 election draws nearer, many candidates are now busy aligning themselves with political organizations hoping to secure the needed support that would propel them to victory, a clear violation of the non-partisan law.


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