The Manila Times - Failure of PH Councilors League polls condemned

News & Interviews
6 March 2020

By Dexter A. See | The Manila Times

BAGUIO CITY: The city council has condemned the failure of elections of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) National-Island Officers for 2020 as declared by the National Board.

In a resolution, the Baguio City councilors said the technical glitches of the computer system used in the automated elections of the new set of PCL officers could have been avoided had the system was tested for integrity and functionality prior to the election on February 27.

Among the technical glitches included the votes for Jesciel Richard Salceda being counted as votes for Davao City councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, and the votes of 10 persons being counted as votes of 15 persons.

Salceda, an ex-officio member of the provincial board of Albay and concurrent regional chairman of PCL Bicol, is running for national chairman against Dayanghirang, the incumbent PCL chairman.

Instead of resorting to manual voting, the electoral board and council members postponed the election with the date to be announced soonest.

The city legislators said the postponement of the elections resulted in the loss of people’s money in the payment of the registration fees of the participating councilors and in the loss of government time which could have been devoted to public service in their respective areas instead.

The resolution said the failure of the polls eroded the integrity of the PCL, especially of the interim national board.

The PCL is composed 17,163 municipal and city councilors. Its creation is recognized under Republic Act (RA) 7160, or the “Local Government Code of the Philippines,” with the primary purpose of significantly improving public service, especially in the legislative aspect of governance.

On Feb. 26 to 28, 2020, the 11th Congress of the PCL was convened at the SMX Convention Center, which included the election of the new set of national and island officers whose terms shall end until their last term of offices as local legislators.

Based on record, there were more than 12,000 municipal and city councilors who attended the congress, each paying a registration fee of P15,000 charged against the funds of the different local governments.

The Baguio City council urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the PCL’s supervising agency to immediately investigate the alleged technical glitches or election and recommend the filing of appropriate criminal, civil and administrative cases against those found responsible for the poll’s failure.

The resolution will be transmitted to the DILG and the PCL executive director for information, guidance and further action.