Former councilors go back to their roots

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October 16 2013

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By TYRONE A. VELEZ
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY– This year’s barangay elections has former councilors going back to their roots.

Filing their candidacies Tuesday as punong barangay or barangay chairperson for their respective villages are former Councilor Dante Apostol for the second district at Barangay Panacan, and former Councilor Angela Librado-Trinidad for the first district’s Barangay 74-A or Matina Crossing.

Apostol, who recently finished his three consecutive terms as second district councilor, plans to resume office at the barangay, having headed it for 16 years before his stint at the city council.

He said he would continue his previous programs such as infrastructure, scholarships for students, health support for women and senior citizens.

Apostol is running in place of his brother, Jimmy, who is the current barangay chair. Five incumbent kagawads (councilors) are running under his party.

While Apostol has the experience and the machinery, Librado on the other hand, said she is starting from scratch compared to incumbent officials vying as punong barangay in Brgy. 74-A.

“I’m the only private citizen (seeking the barangay chair), my opponents are incumbents; so I’m starting from zero,” she said.

Former City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio accompanied Librado-Trinidad at the Commission on Election Tuesday morning.

Duterte-Carpio said she is supporting Librado “because I come from the same barangay; and she is my friend even before we entered politics and now we are partymates in Hugpong.”

Librado said she started her “foray into traditional politics as SK (Sangguinang Kabataan) chair in 1992; several years after law school, ran and joined the City Council from 2001 to 2010.”

She said, “I hope I will bring the same brand of politics of change which my family carried down to the barangay.”

Librado admitted that in her campaign, she had to carry concrete program of actions; this includes ensuring the barangay funds are allocated for much needed social services.

She also wants to address climate change issues such as flooding that has hit residents in her barangay and adjacent villages.

Along with this, she wanted to address the relocation of informal settlers in areas along the creek in Matina Crossing, where around 30 were killed in a flashflood in 2011.

“Part of this problem is the land use agreements entered by barangay officials with developers. You can’t call this development if residents are affected,” Librado-Trinidad said.

She proposed inter-barangay meetings to assess construction projects and determine whether to continue them, and to ensure measures to address residents hit by floods.

“There should also be a long-term solution; we have to make sure settlers not only get housing but also livelihood. I think the barangay is in the best position to do that,” she said.

When she was councilor, Librado-Trinidad authored city ordinances for the establishment of the city’s gender and development office, women’s reproductive health clinic, overseas Filipino workers (OFW) center, and an ordinance on children’s welfare.

Her father, the late Erasto ‘Nonoy’ Librado, was a labor union leader, who for eleven years, served as president of the Bank of the Philippine Islands Employees Union. He was detained for 11 months during the Marcos dictatorship. He was later elected as secretary general of the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU, May First Movement). In 1992, he was invited by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to join the latter’s ticket and run as councilor for the city’s fist district. He won a seat but he only served office for 54 days following a fatal aneurysm.

His wife Marilyn continued his term and won succeeding terms before daughter Angela took the helm in 2001.

Barangay elections will be held on October 28 with the campaign period ranging from October 19 to 26 for the selection of barangay captain in 182 barangays in Davao City, and also of seven kagawad (councilors) in each barangay. (Tyrone A. Velez/davaotoday.com)

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