BAUANG, La Union: A barangay (village) councilman in Central West here has been the subject of criticism by netizens on Facebook for allegedly posting a betting agreement amounting to P170,000 for the finals series in the National Basketball Association between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.
The “typewritten agreement” stated Kagawad (Councilman) Jay Estillore has entered into an agreement with Fredy Almodovar Licudan, who favored the Cavaliers, for the said amount which was turned over to Barangay treasurer Edwin Tabac for safe-keeping.
The social network post consequently received negative comments from Facebook users, thinking Estillore used barangay funds for the betting.
“Hindi yan pera ng barangay at mas lalong hindi pera ni kagawad yan.. tumayo lang siya o sila ng kapusta nya jan para legal ang pustahan..isip isip din kng my tym…kaya madaming namamatay sa maling akala..kinuha lang sa legal para my panghawakan ta malaking pera n din po yan…[That’s not the money of the barangay, much less, money of the councilman, he just stood to take care or they were made the bettors so that the betting would be legal…think it over sometimes…no wonder there are people who die from wrong impressions…they just took it in legal way so that there is basis because it is a big amount],” Rafael Guerrero wrote in his comment, in defense for Estillore.
Guerrero was one of the signatories as witness to the betting agreement, together with Percival De Jesus, Emmanuel Pimentel and Tabac, who signed under his position in the barangay.
The controversy stemmed from a shared post by a certain Bassilyo, from Estillore’s account, with an accompanying comment, “Mukhang pera ng bayan ang pinagpupustahan dito ah [Looks like it is the people’s money that is being used as bet here].”
Bassilyo’s post received various comments such as, “Under R.A. [jokingly]5110-3210, hindi pwedeng mamagitan ang LGU sa isang kasunduan kung ito ay sugal [a local government unit is not allowed to intervene in a gambling agreement], wrote the netizen.
“A barangay official or barangay treasurer is a public-appointed [official]and they are held for accountability and must possess integrity in public interest not in particular to gambling,” he added.
The Bassilyo post has garnered 13,722 likes, 811 comments and 4,236 shares as of Sunday morning.
On Saturday, Estillore and Tabac denied over a local radio interview the betting money was from barangay funds and that they executed the agreement just for fun, adding they did not expect it would spark controversy.