By Peter Clarete
THE barangays are supposed to be non-partisan, as enshrined in the Local Government Code and as decided by the Supreme Court in several cases brought before it, and yet in Cagayan de Oro City, I have observed that barangay captains not only openly support a candidate during elections but also act as if they have no idea what their roles are supposed to be.
In Cagayan de Oro, talk has been circulating that the master of deception immediately is “taking care” of the barangay captains by giving them at least one million pesos a year for projects which the barangay captains had the sole discretion to implement. The catch, of course, is that projects should be awarded only to the contractor favored by the master of deception.
This early in the game called 2013 elections, some 76 barangay captains out of the city’s eighty, are reportedly still sticking it out with the master of deception despite his sinking ship. If this were true, I believe this will not be for long and I expect an exodus of these barangay chiefs to the camp of the next mayor of Cagayan de Oro, Oca Moreno. I expect that to happen next year.
Elections are still five months away, and to declare their split from the master of deception at this time will be disastrous to their personal interest, and, okay, to the interest of their constituents, because the master of deception could always by-pass them come dole out time. Besides, most of these barangay captains probably have skeletons in their closets which the master of deception could show to the public any time if they defied him.
That barangay governance is partisan is clearly manifested by statements coming from the nicotine-laced lips of the master of deception, such as “Ako kana nga barangay kapitan.” Then there was that Cugman barangay captain who issued a memorandum to his constituents and barangay employees to report to the Comelec when the master of deception and his lapdogs were about to file their certificates of candidacy for the 2013 elections.
To say that the master of deception is a bad influence to the people of Cagayan de Oro is an understatement. He has poisoned the innocence of the barangay people by injecting partisan politics in barangay governance. He employed his tricks of mendicancy on the barangay leaders so their lust for fame and fortune is satiated while the people of the barangays continue to suffer from poor governance and lack of true public service.
Driving away the bad spirit of the master of deception from the reins of power in Cagayan de Oro City will be tall order to say the least. But Oca Moreno and his able Team Oca will surely be able to turn Cagayan de Oro City into a real city of prosperity free from the grips of the master of disaster, master of deception, and architect of mendicancy and his lapdogs.