NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
JAGNA, BOHOL – Two candidates for barangay kagawad are now facing vote-buying charges in the Comelec while local and provincial politicians’ money was not able to enter and penetrate this town to influence voters due to its strong campaign against vote-buying.
Jagna Mayor Joseph Rañola led by example by publicly pronouncing that he will not hand personal cash assistance to his preferred bets in the barangays in order to make good on the program of One Jagna, Kontra Bigay, Sa Piniliay.
“This is to give a fair chance to every candidate and as the mayor I will not hand personal money and any form of favor to any candidate in the barangay level”, Rañola said.
It is public knowledge that local mayors are handing money to their preferred bets at the barangay level in order to raise their chances of winning thus resulting in the mayors’ strong political hold in the ground for reelection purposes. On the other hand, district representatives and the governor will also be pushed to hand out money to their local leaders in the barangay who are seeking posts in the elections.
In Jagna however, Rañola was able to convince 3rd District Representative Alexie Besas Tutor and Governor Aris Aumentado through former Mayor Stephen Rances to follow his steps by not giving financial assistance to any candidate in the entire Jagna.
“Our candidates here for the Barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan Election (BSKE) are now on their own as I was able to let Cong. Alexie and Gov Aris understand our stand and may the true essence of our electoral process be achieved”, Rañola said.
2 CASES AGAINST CANDIDATES
Meanwhile, two candidates seeking for kagawad posts are now facing charges in the Comelec for alleged vote-buying. Last Saturday (October 21), police personnel were quick to visit the houses of one Jaime Macas in Brgy. Canjulao and one Joseph Musong in Brgy. Pagina for reports on their alleged vote-buying activities at P50 per voter in order to raise their chances of winning as kagawad of their respective barangays. Since the two admitted to the offense, cases were filed against them at the Comelec by PNP Jagna led by Police Major Joseph Lopena last Tuesday.
For his part, Police Major Lopena expressed gratitude to the PNP higher command for extending augmentation troops for Jagna which boosted the police visibility to deter candidates from vote buying.
“The PNP Regional Command directed our augmented troops to help us on our Kontra Bigay program, thus, we are able to maximize their presence here to complement our organic personnel”, Lopena said.
The campaign against vote buying would not become successful without the support from various groups from the government down to the private sector and the church.
Since its launching last October 16, DILG Regional Director Leocadio Trovela, PNP Provincial Command, Diocese of Talibon Bishop Patrick Daniel Parcon D.D., Pastors and Imam were all in attendance to deliver their message of support and prayers in front of the local candidates numbering to more than 700 from the 33 barangays gathered for the event inside the Jagna Cultural Center.
On the other hand, Diocese of Tagbilaran Bishop Abet Uy, who served as Jagna’s parish priest from 2010 to 2015, extended his fair share of support through various social media posts and homilies supporting the cause of One Jagna, Kontra Bigay, Sa Piniliay. (Ton-Ton Aniscal)