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Palma: SK officials must remain independent

By: Futch Anthony Inso May 26,2018 - 10:32 PM

WHILE veteran government officials can guide Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials, they must not in any way influence the decisions of these young leaders.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma gave this reminder just as SK officials are set to assume their posts late next month.

“Give them the independence (to decide and craft policies by themselves),” said the 68-year-old prelate in an interview on Saturday.

If veteran elected officials would guide SK officials, Palma said it should be done with the “purity of intentions.”

“We should not corrupt their young minds, which might result to disastrous activities,” he said.

On the other hand, the SK officials should not allow themselves to be influenced to engage in acts or activities that they don’t like, the prelate added.

Palma also urged the newly elected village and youth leaders to lead by example and to reject the kind of political leadership prevalent in the country.

“They should not be tempted to use their power to corrupt,” he said, and for these leaders to always think about the common good.

The tug-of-war among political groups and personalities to get as many newly elected SK and barangay chairpersons to their side is being openly done even as the twin political exercises held last May 14 were supposed to be nonpartisan.

Earlier, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino invited elected SK officials in Cebu City to have an audience with President Rodrigo Duterte and Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go.

Dino explained that their intention was to expose newly elected SK officials to the “change agenda” of the administration, which espouses a drug-and corrupt-free leadership.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, who is at loggerheads with Dino over a number of issues, called it a desperate move to win over the youth leaders to his side.

Osmeña himself has been open about his desire for most SK and barangays to align themselves with his group, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), since those who will win as presidents of the SK Federation and the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) will also gain seats in the Cebu City Council.

At present, Osmeña could not get his major projects pass through the City Council, with only eight of the 16-member council belonging to BOPK. The remaining eight councilors and Vice Mayor Edgar Labella, the council’s presiding officer who is also aligned with Dino, are members of Barug Team Rama–PDP Laban. Among the eight councilors identified with Barug is Tisa Barangay Captain Philip Zafra, the city’s ABC president.

Having the ABC and SK federation presidents on the side of BOPK would therefore tilt the balance of power at the City Council in favor of the Osmeña administration.

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TAGS: independent, must, Palma, remain

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