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Albay’s village officials favor barangay polls postponement

By Mar S. Arguelles LEGAZPI CITY ---- Majority, or approximately 90 percent of barangay officials in Albay favors the postponement of this year’s barangay election to May next year, according to Joseph Philip Lee, president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) in Albay. Lee believes that the postponement would be an opportunity for all incumbent barangay officials to continue rendering of services they promised to their constituents. Lee, a village chief of barangay Oro Site in this city, is the elected president of the “Liga ng mga Barangays ng Albay” or ABC which is composed of about 720 barangay chairmen across the province. Lee said “the three years given to us by our constituents is too short a period to implement and accomplish projects that would improve the lives of our people, especially the marginalized.” “This is the right time and chance to make it up with their constituents,” he said. Lee in a phone interview said the postponement of the barangay election would give barangay officials ample time to carry out new and ongoing projects that need to be addressed. Among the projects cited that to be addressed are: the clearing and assessment of illegal drug personalities in their respective villages; the upcoming barangay General Assembly; the Masa Masid program of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Social and Infrastructure development programs. Lee believes that these projects would be put on hold once the barangay election takes place, citing the government’s Build, Build Program that would be derailed because of the Comelec resolution imposing ban on infrastructure projects during election period. Asked to comment on Pres. Duterte’s claim that 40 percent of barangay officials are either involved in the illegal drug operation or are coddlers of drug syndicates, Lee begs to disagree. He said: “What is happening in Manila and environs may not be true in the provinces.”

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