City to donate 42 cars to 24 barangays; Mambaling to wait a little longer

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio May 21,2019 - 10:10 PM

Cebu City Council session. CDND File Photo / Delta Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Government will be donating at least 42 cars to 24 different barangays after the cars were repaired before the May 13, 2019 midterm elections.

However, Barangay Mambaling may not be able to receive the soon-to-be-donated cars because of an existing issue involving two barangay leaders both claiming to be the legitimate barangay chief.

In 24 resolutions authored by Councilor Sisinio Andales and approved by the Cebu City Council on Tuesday, May 21, the barangays who will accept the vehicles will become the custodians, who will be responsible for the maintenance and repair for the donated cars.

The same vehicles were recalled on March and April 2019 for repair and maintenance and are now declared “in good condition” for donation. The cars were returned to the respective barangays before the May 13 local and national elections.

Mambaling dilemma 

For Mambaling, the problem lies on who is authorized to receive the donation from the city government.

In session, Partido Barug Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said that only the barangay captain with the authorization of the barangay council is allowed to receive the donation on behalf of the barangay.

“Only the barangay captain with the authorization of the barangay council can accept the donation. The deed of donation here is addressed to the First Councilor who is not authorized to accept the donation,” said Pesquera.

Currently, two officials claim to be the incumbent chief of Barangay Mambaling.

Gines Abellana, the elected chief of Barangay Mambaling, was suspended by the city council on January 2019 for abuse of authority following a complaint of four barangay councilors, who alleged that Abellana withheld their honoraria from July to December 2018.

Following the suspension, First Councilor Anne Palomo took over as chief after taking oath in front of Mayor Osmeña on January 2019.

Abellana sent his appeal to the Malacañan on the issue arguing that this appeal renders his suspension momentarily invalid until President Rodrigo Duterte, as chief executive of the state, decides on the case.

He remained in the barangay hall serving as the chief, while Palomo carried out official functions in her home.

Initially, the deed of donation of the car was first addressed to Palomo but Pesquera argued that without authorization from the barangay council, Palomo cannot receive the donation.

In previous statements, Palomo said the barangay council has not successfully convened since Abellana’s suspension.

Taking the issue of Barangay Mambaling into account, the City Council decided to defer the donation for a week to settle on who should legally represent the village.

The council is set to make a decision on its next session, May 28.

Other recipients of the donation will not have to go through a long waiting time as the council agreed that the cars, which are already in the possession of the barangays, should be formalized with deeds of donation.

Recipients would include mountain barangays such as Bonbon, Binaliw, and Buot-taop; and downtown barangays such as Guadalupe, Basak San Nicolas, and Carreta.

Why now? 

In session, Partido Barug Councilors Joey Daluz and Pastor Alcover, Jr., questioned why outgoing Mayor Tomas Osmeña suddenly had the urge to donate the cars to the barangays when incoming Mayor Edgardo Labella already announced his plan to do the same.

Labella, after his proclamation as mayor-elect, said that he would like to donate the city government issued cars to the respective barangays so the city will no longer be responsible for their maintenance.

“I just find it strange that the mayor decided to donate the cars now,” said Daluz in session.

Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) Councilor and the mayor’s wife, Margarita Osmeña, said the mayor has long planned to donate the cars but chose not to publicize these plans.

She said these donations will be beneficial to the city no matter who sits in the position as mayor.

Andales said all 80 barangays will receive the donations but the remaining 56 barangays whose deeds of donations are yet  to be ready will soon have them approved in the last five remaining sessions of the current council. / celr

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