CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija: Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Emily Padilla has warned that she will send to jail an alleged Nueva Ecija fixer rumored to be heading collection of money in exchange for positions in the barangay (village) and Sanguniang Kabataan (SK) elections set for October 23, 2017.
Padilla cited reports that she had received alleging members of a supposedly Duterte presidential campaign group—Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC)—were reported to be extorting P1,000 each from aspirants for village positions in the province.
The reports said the suspects promise an intended victim that he can enjoy the privilege until the Duterte administration ends in 2022 if he shells out P5,000.
Padilla said she heard of the group’s supposed oath-taking attempt led by a certain Luz de Guzman when President Duterte visited Cabanatuan City last January 18.
She told The Manila Times that the event was focused on a federalism congress that barangay officials from the group had attended.
Thus, when she saw a tarpaulin with the words “MRRDNECC oath taking,” she removed it herself.
In Llanera town, the group promised a former three-term town councilor that he would be appointed village chairman if he paid P5,000 but he rejected the offer.
The town councilor said Barangay Estrella of Rizal town paid for their attendance of the supposed oath-taking on January 18 at the Freedom Park in this city.
“The DILG does not authorize any group, whether from the central, regional or field offices to make any solicitations from anyone,” Padilla said.
Under the recently enacted Reublic Act 10923, or An Act Postponing the October 2016 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, the term of office of incumbent village officials will be extended “until their successors are duly elected and qualified,” the Commission on Elections said in a statement.
The barangay OIC (officer-in-charge) appointments would be led by the Office of the President in coordination with the DILG, local government units, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and other concerned agencies.
CELSO M. CAJUCOM