Palma to San Fernando teachers: Continue to serve even in fear
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma are encouraging the teachers serving as members of the election board of San Fernando town in southern Cebu to be strong and continue to serve even in fear.
Palma made the encouragement on Sunday, February 17, to the teachers after some of them reportedly backed out of serving the election board following the recent killings of town officials.
The prelate said that these teachers cannot be forced to serve since fear is internal and the situation in the area is understandably perilous following the recent deaths.
However, Palma said that the call to serve should be greater than fear.
“Sometimes when we give in to our fear, we are immobilized from doing things,” said the prelate.
He commended the teachers who remained to serve as elections board and those who stood up to take the place of those who backed-out of serving the upcoming May 13 midterm elections.
“You know you are doing a worthy service. Unta magpadayon kita sa pagserbisyo even sa atong kahadlok,” said Palma.
The archbishop also encouraged the candidates to avoid using threats or violence in gaining the upperhand in the elections.
He said that serving the people should be from the heart and not for material gain.
“We should remember that the public office is a public trust, which is at the bottomline, service,” he added.
San Fernando has been placed under yellow category for EWAS following intense political rivalry in the area.
On January, three incumbent officials were killed in separate shootings including Mayor Lakambini “Neneth” Reluya’s husband and Association of Barangay Council President, Councilor Richard “Nonoy” Reluya.
Nonoy Reluya died in an ambush in Talisay City on January 22 along with driver, Allan Bayot, and the town’s investment officer, Ricky Montenora. Mayor Reluya and two others survived the incident.
Earlier in the month, two other municipal officials, Councilor Reneboy Dacalos and village chief Johnny Arriesgado, were killed by unknown assailants within the town.
The town has been placed under yellow category of the election watchlist areas (Ewas) following intense political rivalry.
Recently, San Fernando election officer Renanto Angcos said that the 177 required number of teachers needed to man the town’s election board have been filled which allows them to continue on with their election preparations. /dbs
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