TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Despite congress approving on second reading the proposal to postpone Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba urged the public not to vote candidates who practice vote buying.
Mamba told Forum on Tuesday, March 13, he believes vote buying politicians especially in the barangay level are involved with illegal drugs.
Mamba also voiced this “simple reminder” in the capitol’s flag-raising ceremony on Monday, March 12, discouraging people not to support the campaign of village candidates who do vote buying.
“Sa tingin ko narcopolitics in Cagayan is very real…Huwag iboto yung mga kandidato na bumibili ng boto. Otherwise, babalik na naman tayo sa narcopolitics na ‘yan. We are now talking of village [level].”
The governor cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that 9,000 village leaders or 40% of barangay officials in the country are involved in drugs. He said it is impossible for the president to make such a list without basis.
Mamba referenced an incident in 2016 wherein authorities carried out an operation in Claveria, Cagayan, resulting to confiscation of 210 kilos of shabu. Involved was a barangay chief.
He added that he believes barangay captains involved in drugs report to a higher figure.
The governor also said there are “no excuses” in the local war on drugs.
“Hindi dahil may kapatid tayo, may barkada tayo, o tayo ay involved ay pababayaan natin and we keep silent and we keep blind diyan sa mga revelations ng ating president,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a press release from Cagayan Provincial Information Office, the governor added that such an expensive campaign of barangay candidates might be a result of illegal acts.
“Kapag malaki ang gastos ng politiko, babawi yan at ma-iinvolve sa mga illegal na gawain at lahat ng klase ng pagkakaperahan,” he said in the release.
Further, the governor said in the release he will be impartial and assured he will not meddle with the barangay elections.
“I will not be partisan and I will not support any candidate for barangay captain or councilor,” he added.
Congress on Wednesday voted to approve on second reading a bill postponing the May 2018 barangay and SK elections from May 14 to October 8, 2018. Northernforum.net