By Dave S. Albarado
Political battle lines have been drawn with the vice mayor of the interior town of Batuan came out with intriguing questions on her post.
The new saga between two of the town’s political titans reached the social media sphere with the vice mayor aired her sentiments about issues regarding the designation of officers-in-charge (OIC) while the mayor was away and the mayor’s signatures on the payroll of the Sangguniang Bayan.
For his part, Batuan town mayor Antonino Jumawid only wants the town to be united and tried his “best just to work.”
“Dili lang pod ko gusto modako ang gubot kay dili maayo. Posible gani nga maghiusa me,” said the mayor.
The mayor said he doesn’t want to comment on baseless accusations and “will promote disunity.”
He dismissed the posts of the vice mayor as “not true.”
He lamented, “the (Facebook) post of the vice mayor is very unfortunate and improper. We in the (local government unit) LGU should promote the truth and unity. If she has matters that she is confused or needs clarification, she can call or visit the Mayor’s Office and all offices or send text messages. Posting on FB and unfairly and falsely accusing other people without verifying should never be done.”
For her part, Batuan Vice Mayor Yes Tirol Dumagan told the BoholTribune she doesn’t want to think the issues she raised on Facebook are politically motivated, but added there were issues that happened in the past.
In a Facebook post, said she had “kept her silence for the longest time.”
Tirol Dumagan posted photos of certain documents signed by Jumawid designating an officer-in-charge, allegedly signing the payroll of the Sangguniang Bayan members and the Sangguniang Bayan secretary.
The vice mayor questioned the moves of Jumawid in the Facebook post which bore the title “Respect begets respect.”
The latest Facebook outburst could be the first of its kind in recent memory, where the two top officials of the town are dragged into the public space.
In the comments, Tirol Dumagan asked several questions more, which were not originally included in the primary post.
Tirol Dumagan questioned whether an executive assistant of the mayor is allowed to designate an officer-in-charge.
“Dili ko lawyer man pero kasabot ko ug akong girespeto ang Local Gov’t Code. Unta mao pod ang EA,” she said in a comment.
THE CRUX OF THE MATTER
Tirol Dumagan posted on Facebook last Friday three questions: the first question was “can the Mayor designate OIC for more than three days? Answer: No. Read Section 46 of the Local Government Code of 1991”.
The second question was, “the Mayor as of Tuesday is in Cebu for official business. He has not returned until tomorrow. Question: Can the Executive Assistant issue a memo today appointing another official to be the OIC? Asa man sa Local Government Code karon na pwede na mupirma ang Executive Assistant ug mu-appoint ug OIC?”
The third question, “Sanguniang Bayan payroll and other documents can only be signed by the Vice Mayor. What do you do when the Executive Assistant of the mayor signs the Payroll of the Sangguniang Bayan?”
She posted photographs of the documents in support of her claims.
“Naunshwa na ba ni. Paghuwat mog kamo ma vice mayor sunod usa mo mamirma ug payroll. Do not appoint yourselves. Please, I respect that we have different political stands but let us respect the rule of law,” the vice mayor said.
She had to break her silence, “just so my constituents will know where I’m coming from, the reason I’m sharing this. Pwede ra man siguromaghuwat ug election ug pulihan ko pagka Bise Mayor.”
Then again, Tirol Dumagan said she is not seeking any legal remedies to the action since she doesn’t have the luxury of time and money.
“Those in power and position don’t like me because I am straight forward and very sharp with what I say. I will continue serving my constituents because it’s my job. If an organization is going to move from average performance to great performance, people’s beliefs and behaviors will need to change,” she said in a Facebook message to the Tribune.
HOPING FOR UNITY
The Tribune reached out to Jumawid for comments on the Facebook post of Tirol Dumagan via text message yesterday.
Jumawid said he “hope there is unity in Batuan.”
The mayor tried not to comment “on false and baseless allegations because it is a waste of time.”
“If I will comment, I would be asserting the truth,and my detractors will be offended, and thus, the division will be widened,” the mayor said.
“I personally appealed to the vice mayor and SB to help me improve the management of the town and increase revenue,” the mayor said.
Tribune asked the mayor to comment on the post made by the vice mayor.
Jumawid said the mayor has “the right to appoint OICs if it is not more than three days and the [mayor] is in the country.”
He added in Batuan he has appointed the vice mayor as OIC and all other SB members. He also designated the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC).
Jumawid said the post made by the vice mayor was “not true” and “totally contrary to the facts”.
He said he did not designate an OIC more than three days since two dates in the document were Saturday and Sunday. The document has been since corrected.
“No need to debate it,” he said.
In a post on his Facebook page, Jumawid said: “There is no perfect, no irrepealable law, ordinance or memorandum. They are all subject to modifications to suit the need or call of time or for whatever legal purpose. Ug naaysayop, andam ta modawat ug mocorrect. Bisan ang sayopnga spelling ug grammar, petsa, etcandam ta mo correct kun naa man.”
The mayoradded on the Facebook post, “dilitinuod ang mga posts nga ang Mayor’s Office ug memorandum ngawalamasubay sa Local Government Code. Gitahud nato ang balaod ug matag usa.”
The mayor in the comment section said, “buot ko nga matin aw nga wala kita mag abuso ug naningkamot nga mouswag ug mahiusa. Kanang mga tawo nga walay ikatabang, ayaw na lang dauta ug hilabti ang naglihok. Kanang gusto motabang, welcome mo.”
The mayor corrected an insinuation that he was in Cebu since February 20 is “not true.”
Jumawan said it is impossible for him to be not in Batuan since he even officiated a wedding, had dinner with the volunteers and doctors of the medical mission and attended the birthday celebration of the governor. The mayor claimed
“I told the SB secretary to invite the vice mayor,and the vice mayor was invited,” the mayor added.
“I won’t lie. It is not true on the 20th and 21st I was already in Cebu,” the mayor said. The mayor said his presence couldbe verified with witnesses and other documentation.
The mayor lamented the conflict as the office of the vice mayor is just a “wall away” from the mayor’s office.
“She (the vice mayor) could have knocked and asked or text or call (the mayor). I never posted or publish any negative comments against the VM for records purposes,” said the mayor.
On the issue of signing the payroll, the mayor doubts if it is true. Jumawid said he has an instruction with finance team saying the SB handle its budget and the Mayor’s Office should “not be bothered or included as among the signatories.”
Tirol Dumagan, however, said in a later post on Facebookthe issue is not whether the mayor was in town last Tuesday or Wednesday. The vice mayor acknowledged the mayor was in town during the two-day medical mission. She reiterated the issues she raised in her earlier post as the ones she needs to be answered.