BOPK gets more barangay chiefs

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram May 22,2018 - 10:51 PM

A WEEK after the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections took place, the number of newly-elected village officials allied with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña under the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) continues to grow.

This developed after Freddie Esmas, the barangay captain–elect of Day-as, one of the 46 barangays comprising Cebu City’s North District, decided to shift alliance from the opposition Barug Team Rama–PDP Laban to the administration’s bloc.

This means that there are now 50 barangay captains under BOPK while those affiliated with Barug are down to 30.

Esmas is not the first recently elected village chief in Cebu City who decided to transfer to BOPK. It can be recalled that Guba Barangay Captain–elect Orlan Herrera, also from Barug, shifted to BOPK last Friday, May 18.

Esmas and Herrera took their oath before Osmeña yesterday and on Friday, respectively.

Osmeña yesterday said that while the recent development was good for their party, he was not about to let his guard down.

“Team Rama (Barug) is losing their bailiwicks. Their power is slowly eroding. They lost their home ground. They’re only up to ‘we’re with President Duterte and Dino (Presidential Assistant to the Visayas Michael Dino) but cannot get the support of the masses. These are positive steps for BOPK but I’m not taking anything for granted, and the war has not started yet,” said Osmeña.

When asked if he was expecting more barangay and SK chairpersons to transfer to BOPK, the mayor was tight-lipped.

“I won’t comment on that. Let them (Barug) do all the noise but little by little we will do what we have to do,” said Osmeña.

Free to go

Barug stalwart Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella, meanwhile, told reporters in a separate press conference that their party was not worried about losing another ally.

Esmas did not ask permission or dropped any hint before he shifted alliance, said Labella.

“This is a democratic country. I’m not worried. What he told us on Monday is that he will be just taking his oath before the mayor, which is not wrong. The mayor is authorized on doing so. He did not mention any plans to transfer alliance,” said Labella.

Labella also said he respected Esmas’ justification on shifting his allegiance, and that Barug will not prevent any elected barangay officials in their bloc from transferring to BOPK.

Before he won as village chief of Day-as, Esmas was a councilman of the same barangay.

“I decided to shift parties because it’s for the best interest of the people in Day-as. Whatever the outcome of the barangay and SK elections, the mayor is still the mayor,” said Esmas.

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