Home News Cagayan Valley Cagayan Tuao barangay chiefs claim Mamba refused to give prov’l aid to non-allies

Tuao barangay chiefs claim Mamba refused to give prov’l aid to non-allies

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Two barangay captains and officer from Tuao, the hometown of Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, claimed to have been snubbed from their slice of financial aid from the provincial government.

In the provincial board’s 89th Regular Session on Wednesday, May 23, Barangay Chairman Remigio Dela Cruz of Bugnay, Tuao said they have yet to receive their P500,000 financial aid from the Mamba administration’s 2017 budget.

Dela Cruz said all other barangays except those under chairs not allied with the governor have already been awarded financial assistance from the provincial government.

He added that the last financial assistance they received from the capitol was the P100,000 aid from then-Governor Alvaro “Bong” Antonio in 2016. He claimed of “political intervention” that the provincial government refuses to implement funds for projects despite existence of programs or work.

When asked by Board Member Maila Ting-Que if the barangay knows where their funds are, Dela Cruz replied they have “no idea.”

Barangay San Vicente Barangay Chair Estela Landeza said this was also the case in their area.

“Wala po akong nakuha sa probinsya po especially this 2017. Naiinggit po ako sa mga [other] barangays kasi nagdistribute sila ng P300,000 cheques and every barangay captain, andun ako noon, binigay nila yung tig-300 except for barangay ko po,” Landeza said.

In the 2017 budget approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), each barangay will receive P500,000 under aid to barangays. From this fund, P300,000 will be used for infrastructure projects while P200,000 will be used for honoraria and other soft projects.

Landeza, who is also not an ally of Mamba, claimed the capitol said the funds will be given “later” but she believes the aid will not be given as long as she was captain.

“I’m sure na talagang hindi ibibigay dahil ako pa ang nakaupo, but now at natalo na po ako, sabi ni governor nung last [siya] pumunta doon, ngayon at hindi na daw ako, ibibigay na daw po. Yun ang sinabi sa mga tao, kaya nung eleksyon na, ang mga tao naman, nabilib naman sila,” Landeza said.

The San Vicente chief said their P200,000 have already been awarded to barangay health workers, nutrition scholars, and day-care workers.

Landeza said they have not issued a complaint because of the current “situation” in Tuao.

Further, barangays Lakambini and San Juan have also yet to receive their financial aid.

A woman who claimed to be from Lakambini also commented on SP Cagayan, saying, “Basta kontra ka sa administration sorry ka! Yan ang Tuao! Gusto nila nakatali ang ilong mo sa kanila. Yung mga aso nila nagpapakasasa. Nakatakip ang mata at bibig sa katotohanan. Ang mahalaga nakakapit sila.”

In an earlier statement, Mamba said the delay of the release of funds is caused by the failure of some barangays to liquidate their projects. However, the chairs said they had liquidated their projects.

Meanwhile, Aurelio Ballesteros, the barangay treasurer of Lakambini for the past 25 years, said they have not received their P200,000 soft projects. Lakambini  is under the leadership of Captain Rambo Fausto.

Agkaikaisa meddling?

Meanwhile, the board has since raised an issue over the alleged meddling of purok leaders in the duties of barangay officials as leaders elected by the people.

Dela Cruz said the purok leaders of Agkaikaisa Cagayan, an organization founded by Mamba, were the ones who selected recipients of the barangay scholarship program.

Further, Dela Cruz claimed the Agkaikaisa was forcing him last March to sign proposed projects intended for the infra program.

“May pinapapirma po sa akin tungkol sa budget po na P500,000 noon. Sila na po [dati] ang gumawa ng budget; hindi na po kami pinagawan kaya hindi ko po pinirmahan kasi ang nakalagay doon sa gymnasium namin P300,000. Tinanong ko yung Agkaikaisa leader doon sa amin kasya ba yung P500,000 dun sa gym natin kako, kaya hindi ko pinirmahan, Ma’am,” Dela Cruz told Ting-Que.

Ting-Que said only those elected by the people should be the ones to take care of and implement the funds.

Board Member Perla Tumaliuan added that, based on Dela Cruz’s claims, the funds seemed to be intended for direct implementation by the provincial government instead of passing first through the barangay.

“Yun po ay aid para po sa inyo [barangay]. It was never meant na dahil ayaw ka, dahil hindi ka ka-alyado, hindi ganun ang patakaran,” Tumaliuan added.

In defense, Mamba ally and Board Member Rodrigo De Asis told the barangay chiefs that the money is secured.

However, De Asis later told the captains on plenary, “Anyway, talagang ganyan ang buhay. Weather-weather lang.”

“Iti advice ku kadakayo in the spirit of public service, in the spirit of reconcilation, aya? Apay gamin nga haan kayo umasideg gamin?” De Asis also told Landeza.

In response, Landeza said she attends Mamba’s birthdays as a sign of respect even though she felt “aloof” and “set aside.” “All the activities of Tuao kahit walang invitation [sa akin] kung talagang for barangay captain, pumupunta po ako,” Landeza said.

In a text message sent to a member of the Cagayan Capitol Press Corps, Mamba said he delayed the release of funds to the said barangays because of the election.

‘Barangay left behind’

Board Member Cris Barcena expressed disagreement with Mamba’s “No Barangay Left Behind” battle cry, saying that the barangay officials’ “testimonies” are proof of the contrary.

“Now we find out na sa kanyang mismong lungga, sa mismong kanyang bahay, tahanan, sa kanyang bayan, ay maraming mga barangay ang naiiwan; so disagree ako sa kampanya niya,” Barcena said.

The board member also told the public to “reflect” on and be “sensitive” in analyzing the governor’s statements.

Barcena also hit another barb to Mamba, saying, “Ano nga ba ang Tuao sa totoong buhay at ano nga ba ang Tuao sa likod ng kamera?”

Governor Mamba has repeatedly assured Cagayanos there will be no politicking when it comes to the barangays’ financial assistance.

Meanwhile, Board Member AJ Ponce, who has roots in Tuao, said all funds intended for barangays, regardless of the chair, must be downloaded.

“Hindi po magandang pakinggan na porket hindi ka ka-alyado, hindi ka pagbibigyan eh weather-weather lang yan. Hindi po ganun…Nasaan po yung no barangay left behind na sinasabi nila samantalang mismong sa bayan niya na hindi niya kasama ang kapitan, ganyan ang ginagawa niya?” Ponce asked.

Further, Ponce urged Mamba to implement the 2017 budget instead of “politicking.”

“With due respect to the political situation in Tuao, alam po namin yan na kapagka hindi ka-alyado ng mga nakaupo sa Tuao ang mga kapitan ay talagang iniipit nila” Ponce added.

The Forum is still reaching Governor Mamba for comments.

On a related note, the 2018 budget is still under scrutiny as the board is still waiting for Mamba to convene the Provincial Development Council (PDC) and “consider” clarifications over alleged irregularities on the 2018 budget proposal. Northernforum.net

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