An ‘expensive’ bid for ABC presidency?
EIGHT village chiefs allied with Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan have claimed that there is massive vote-buying as elections for the presidency of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) draws near.
Barangay Captains Clifford Niñal (San Nicolas Proper), Juvy Ladraso (Sapangdaku), Sergio Ocaña (Sawang Calero), Vic Buendia (Labangon), Frank Benedicto (Zapatera), Fredie Esmas (Day-as), Jing-jing Cabigon (Apas), and Doming Lopez (Tinago) aired their claims during an interview over DYAB 1512 yesterday morning.
They said they were offered P200,000 to support Mabolo Barangay Captain Prisca Niña Mabatid’s bid for the ABC presidency. They said they all refused the offer.
But in a follow-up interview, Ocaña said he was offered anew, this time with a much higher figure: P1-million.
“The offers started last week and from P200,000, they were raised to P300,000, then P500,000, until this week, we were offered with P1-million. They will give us this amount if we vote for Captain Mabatid in the ABC race,” said Ocaña.
“On Wednesday night (July 18), somebody called me over the phone to offer P1-million. But I declined because I am committed to the mayor (Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña) and to (Kasambagan Barangay Captain) Franklyn Ong ,” he added.
However, Ocaña claims he has no idea who is behind the alleged vote-buying attempts and refused to divulge the identities of the people who reached out to him with such offers.
Cebu Daily News tried to contact Mabatid for her comment but failed.
However, in an earlier interview, she denied reports that she orchestrated the alleged vote-buying among Cebu City’s barangay captains. Mabatid also said she has not yet decided whether to push through with her bid for the ABC presidency.
Ong was endorsed by Osmeña to be BOPK’s bet for the ABC – Cebu City Federation. Mabatid, who was earlier with BOPK was ousted by Osmeña after she expressed her intent to run for ABC president, claiming that she had the support of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Mabatid was initially endorsed by the Office of the President to run for the ABC but when Tisa Barangay Captain Philip Zafra voluntarily backed out of the race, she was picked by Barug Team Rama as their choice. Zafra is the outgoing ABC – Cebu City Federation President.
Barug city councilors slammed the barangay officials’ claims of vote-buying , saying it was a fabrication.
“(The offers) are all pointing to her (Mabatid) but these are just circumstantial. Nobody really directly said. These are just hearsay, and for me are not true. There’s no weight on their claims,” said Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia.
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