State of Affairs

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The above cartoon illustrates the state of affairs in Mt. Province where political forces are fighting to determine who should temporarily fill up the congressional position of the departed Rep. Victor Dominguez.

We have already said the things we have to say on this matter here and here. But here’s the latest developments according to a report by Dexter See. Let’s take the claims of both sides with a grain of salt.

Row over Mt. Province’s caretaker post surfaces
Who should take over Congress post vacated by death of solon?
Dexter A. See

BONTOC, Mountain Province – A tug of war on who would be the congressional caretaker of this province has surfaced. This came as as a result of the demise of Rep. Victor S. Dominguez.

Many sectors have expressed their choice of a temporary overseer of the congressional post which became vacant because of the death of Dominguez.

The Dominguez clan has expressed their support for the designation of Kalinga Rep. Manuel S. Agyao as the province’s congressional caretaker while this province is waiting for the holding of a special election to be scheduled by Congress to choose the successor of the veteran lawmaker.

The position of the Dominguez clan is supported by many local officials on the municipal and barangay levels. They are calling on Speaker Prospero Nograles to appoint Agyao as the caretaker for Mountain Province so that the projects already set for implementation could be pushed through.

However, some provincial officials here have a choice different from that the majority of local officials.

They are allegedly behind the passage of a resolution endorsing the appointment of Baguio City Rep. Mauricio G. Domogan as the caretaker for the province. The resolution was not supported by many provincial officials, it was learned.

Under unwritten rules on caretakership, it would be the partymate of a lawmaker who caused the vacancy who would be anointed as the caretaker of the province provided that the province of the supposed appointee is adjacent to the one with the vacant post.

In the case of Mountain Province, Dominguez was the regional chairman of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI), and Agyao belongs to the same party.

Domogan is the regional chairman of the Lakas-CMD, which has coalesced with KAMPI.

Some sectors in the province have issued an appeal to Nograles to hand down his decision on who would be the caretaker of the province to prevent speculations by interest groups over the brewing tug of war on should be the overseer of Mountain Province.

Both Congressmen Agyao and Domogan expressed their willingness to be the caretaker of the province.

They said they will support whoever between them would be appointed by Nograles to be Mountain Province’s caretaker while awaiting the decision of Congress on the question of whether or not a special election is to be conducted to find out the people’s choice on who would serve the unexpired term of Dominguez.

While officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said there is no legal basis for the appointment of a caretaker of the province, local officials believe there should be someone to at least make representations for the province in terms of the allocation of funds for projects.

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