Ano bang meron sa Baguio at parati na lang may kontrobersiya? And now it’s the young people who are starring in this silliness. It’s kind of entertaining if you think about it.
What more can you ask? There’s alleged bribery, alleged conspiracy, alleged parental (grandparental?) meddling, alleged involvement of police escorts. It’s really like in the movies. Kulang na lang ng allegations of sex and violence.
The sad thing about this is that some of these kids have to be lying. Maybe it’s de Vera’s camp. Maybe it’s her accusers. We don’t know. But they can’t both be telling the truth.
What has Baguio turn into? I’m sure you’ll agree that it used to be a model for the Cordilleras in the area of politics and governance. Nowadays, it is such a messed up place.
Controversy mars poll for new SKF president
By Rimaliza Opiña
A SUPPOSEDLY non-political exercise of the youth in electing their leaders was marred by controversy following allegations of payoffs, conspiracy with government officials, intrigues and meddling of parents.
Ysabel de Vera, granddaughter of former Mayor Bernardo Vergara and daughter of former Councilor Gladys de Vera, took her oath as the new SKF president amidst allegations that her winning the post was due to vote buying.
De Vera’s mother said the losing candidates should accept that her daughter won the elections.
De Vera garnered 48 votes against her closest rival Caren Salingbay with 27 votes. She replaces outgoing SKF president, Councilor Leonardo Bayan Jr.
In an interview aired over Bombo Radyo-Baguio, the older De Vera said she never interfered in the elections.
“She won fair and square,” De Vera said while appealing to other parents not to meddle in the exercise.
“Respect the verdict.”
“Wala akong ginagawang masama,” Ysabel added in that interview.
Prior to the election, SK officials were reportedly bribed P200 as their “pasahe,” P115 worth of cellphone load and were promised one unit of cellular phone with camera.
These were allegedly distributed at 18 BC, the bar owned by the Vergaras and which became the temporary headquarters of De Vera’s camp, and during an exclusive picnic at the Camp John Hay picnic grounds.
De Vera took her oath before Baguio Representative Mauricio Domogan, following the elections at the Venus Park View Hotel.
One of De Vera’s rivals, third placer Kathleen Bilog would reportedly file an election protest, a petition for failure of elections and criminal and administrative charges against some employees of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) city field office and the Baguio City Police Office.
The SK officials were billeted for two days at the Venus Hotel for their training. The elections were also subsequently held there.
Lawyer Ed Bilog alleged the DILG was in cahoots with De Vera’s camp by allowing the former mayor’s granddaughter to campaign despite a ruling that the campaign was supposed to end.
“De Vera was reportedly escorted by two policemen,” Bilog claimed.
Bilog said the DILG also prevented their children from communicating with their parents by confiscating their SIM cards.
On Thursday night, Bilog and some other parents forced themselves into the hotel and reportedly urged their children to walk out because of alleged cheating.
A commotion ensued as a result.
DILG Officer-in-Charge Evelyn Trinidad meantime challenged those accusing them to substantiate their allegations.
“Kahit kasi sabihin kong hindi totoo, hindi sila maniniwala,” Trinidad said while explaining that the DILG had nothing to do with the elections.
She said the DILG’s participation was to train the newly-elected SK officials on their duties and responsibilities.
Trinidad also clarified that SIM cards were not confiscated. She said she asked the SK officials to surrender their SIM cards for the meantime because despite an advisory that cellphones should be on silent mode, no one paid attention during the orientation and that most of the participants were busy sending and receiving short messaging services (texts).
She said there was no intent to bar communication because prior to this, the participants were told to inform their parents that they could not be reached through their cellphones for the duration of the seminar-training.
The elections were organized by the SK Federation and were witnessed by the National Youth Commission, the academe and the BCPO.
“This is an SK affair, parents should stay away. Let the children decide, they have their own minds,” Trinidad stressed.
Other winning officers of the SKF include Ramzy Kairuz for vice president, Valerie Buaquen – secretary, John Rey Bandan – treasurer, Jennilyn Cuison – auditor, Alvin Jhey Bunnol – PRO, and Jose Lingwagon – sergeant-at-arms.
INFO SOURCE: Sunstar Baguio