ButuanSK, ABC Fed prexy polls marred by vote-buying?
by Ben Serrano
December 9, 2010
BUTUAN CITY (PNA) -Not only during May 10, 2010national and local elections and the October 18 SK and Barangay elections where there were pronounced alleged massive vote-buying and intimidations but said allegations also marred the recently concluded SK Federation and Association of Barangay Captain (ABC) President here in Butuan City, the Caraga region’s capital.
Allegedly the vote buying was pegged at P20,000 each barangay captain or barangay projects worth millions of pesos promised to those who supported administration bets. The barangay projects funding were from hard-earned tax payers’ money.
Three ballots casted were declared “marked ballots” and therefore were pronounced invalid by LIiga Ng Mga Barangay officials who conducted the secret balloting in last Tuesday’s ABC election.
Some newsmen especiallyPNAwas barred or not allowed from covering the ABC Federation president election held at Luciana Hotel and Convention Center here Tuesday.
Butuan City cop PO3 Henry Benedicto blocked this writer from entering Luciana Hallas Benedicto claimed he only followed instructions.
When asked byPNAwho gave him instructions, Benedicto only gavePNAa hard intimidating look.
At the end of the voting proceedingsPNAwas able to interview some barangay captains while some just gave a huge smile when asked about allegations of vote buying, some would just say “secret” while others denied there was vote buying.
“Amo ra ni di ko magsaba kung dunay palit o wala(it’s only ours I will not divulged if there was vote buying or not)”, says Barangay Captain Nestor Aluag of Lemon in local vernacular.
Barangay Captain Victor Abucejo of Limaha also said the ABC election was only between him and the barangay captains who participated the election.
Abucejjo only smiled when asked about allegations of vote-buying. Minutes later, Abucejo went backPNAand proclaimed he voted clean and according to his conscience.
But some barangay captains interviewed only gave smile when asked about allegations of vote-buying.
Others just said “Normal naman na (its just normal)” when interviewed or asked about allegations of vote-buying.
When asked about allegations of vote-buying and promised of barangay projects worth millions of pesos to those who will vote for certain bets, Butuan City DILG official Alma Tiempo claimed both are illegal and not allowed by law.
Tiempo covered the whole ABC election proceedings and was designated together with some City DILG office personnel to monitor the Tuesday’s ABC president election. Elected president of the ABC will be automatically member of the Butuan City Council as an ex-officio member.
But NGO leader Edwin Piencenaves of the People’s Power Volunteers for Reforms (PPVR) claimed otherwise saying he also heard allegations of massive vote-buying in the recently held SK Federation and Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) President here in Butuan City.
“I am here to monitor this ABC election because of allegations of vote-buying but how can I do that like you I was barred from entering the halls to observe and monitor the ABC election”, Piencenaves toldPNAin an interview.
Piencenaves however claimed he is about to believe there was vote buying and promised of barangay projects for Barangay Captains who supported certain bets especially in the position of ABC president who is automatically member of the city council.
Defeated ABC prexy bet accepts defeat
Defeated opposition bet for ABC president Barangay Captain Derrick Plaza of Agusan Pequeňo accepted defeat saying this is reality in Philippine politics and elections saying “weather-weather lang!”.
Plaza who is son of late undefeated Butuan City Mayor Democrito Diayon Plaza, II got 34 votes as against administration’s bet Barangay Captain Nestor Amora who got 50 votes, who won the ABC president post. Amora automatically will be ex-officio member of Butuan City Council.
Amora was allegedly supported by the Amante political group while Plaza was supported by the Plaza block.
During May 2010 local and national elections, the Amante political group tied with bitter political rival Plaza in the numbers of city councilors’ elected although the Amante group got the Vice Mayor’s post.
In an interview, Plaza toldPNAhe will not protest the outcome of the ABC election even with allegations of vote-buying and illegal promised of government projects.
Plaza however wondered how some barangay captains who were former close political allies of his late father City Mayor shifted loyalties so fast suddenly changed minds in supporting his bid
During Plaza’s late City Mayor father’s time, majority of the Barangay Captains of Butuan City were Plaza’s close political allies.
Two barangay captains who requested not to be identified because they may get the ire of the current administration toldPNA“Alleged millions of pesos of project and money changes everything including loyalties, this harsh realities in Philippine politics, on political reforms others aspired, we think these are all elusive dream and will remained dreams”.
They conclude that even they as barangay captains can be allegedly corrupted how much more ordinary voters?(PNA/Ben Serrano)