By Bernadette Tamayo | Journal Online
The vice presidential bid of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. received another boost after the Barangay Councilors League of the Philippines (BCLP) endorsed his candidacy.
The BCLP, through its national president, Ricardo Junio, a kagawad in Valenzuela City, issued a manifesto of support for Marcos.
“BCLP-National supports Vice President Bongbong Marcos in his principle that an empowered local government translates to an empowered nation -- specifically his sponsorship on the creation of Retirement Fund for barangay officials and its call to rekindle the unity of the Filipinos,” the manifesto said.
In its Facebook account, Junio said the league has 294,189 members nationwide. BCLP likewise expressed support for clean, honest and peaceful 2016 elections.
Marcos said that he was “elated by the outpouring of support” he has been getting from the people and organizations like the BCLP. He vowed to continue bringing the message of national unity to as many people and places as possible, especially at the grassroots level.
“I am very thankful to all that have been supporting me in their own big and little ways. This only confirms my belief that the Filipino people are intelligent enough to know the truth. At ang katotohanan ay ang lagi kong sinasabi na sa pagkakaisa lamang ng mga Pilipino maiaangat ang bansa at ang ating pamumuhay,” said Marcos.
The BCLP credited Marcos for pushing Senate Bill No. 12 providing retirement benefits for barangay officials and other barangay workers. It already passed third and final reading last December.
The measure, sponsored by Marcos being the chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, provides a retirement pay of P100,000 for each qualified barangay chairman, P80,000 for each member of Sangguniang Barangay, and P50,000 each for the barangay treasurer and secretary, barangay tanod, member of the Lupon ng Tagapamayapa, and barangay health and day care workers.
Meanwhile, Marcos is not anymore surprised by the filing of plunder charges against him before the Office of the Ombudsman over his alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), saying it is yet another example of the present administration’s selective justice.
The vice presidential candidate maintained that the case filed against him is “an old issue.” The IBalik ang Bilyones ng Mamamayan (iBBM), a youth civic organization, filed the complaint against Marcos. It cited the digital files of whistleblower Benhur Luy which showed nine of Marcos’ special allotment release orders (SARO) which transferred P205 million of Marcos’ PDAF to six foundations.
But Marcos said that the alleged PDAF scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles had already cleared him of his involvement in the P10-billion PDAF scam in the judicial affidavit she submitted before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee at the height of the public hearings into the controversy.
“Iyun na nga ang problema sa atin. Everything is all about politics. Yung justice natin nagiging pulitika na rin. Iyan naman ang ginagawa, kapag hindi ka kaalyado ay kinakasuhan. ’Pag kaalyado kahit sangkot (sa katiwalian) ay walang ginagawa. Kaya siguro naging biktima na tayo dyan,” said Marcos.
He said that the filing of the raps one week before the elections at the height of the campaign season is yet another way of derailing his vice presidential bid.