Issue of June 18, 2017

Plus Juan
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Congress told to solve MP’s political void
by Harley F. Palangchao

MORE THAN BROTHERS -- Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan and people from all walks of life pay their last respects to the late Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Dalog Sr., who was buried in his hometown Bila, Bauko on June 12. His constituents are calling on the House of Representatives to address the leadership crisis due to the vacancy as a result of his death. -- Harley Palangchao


Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Dalog Sr. has been laid to rest in his hometown in Bila, Bauko on June 12 leaving a leadership crisis, which the Lower House could solve if legislators act on the vacancy with urgency.

Prompt action by Congress by declaring the post left by Dalog vacant can give the Commission on Elections time to check if a special election for the vacant elective position can take place during the SK and barangay elections.

Under Republic Act 7166 which amended parts of RA 6645, a special election can be held not earlier than 60 days but not later than 90 days after the occurrence of the vacancy in the congressional seat one year after the expiration of the term.

Comelec Cordillera Director Julius Torres said the agency can schedule a special election that coincides with the SK and barangay elections once the Lower House officially declares the position vacant and calls for a special election.

Other than a special election, the Lower House through House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez can appoint another Cordillera congressman as a caretaker for Mountain Province.

During Dalog’s wake, Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., and mayors from Mountain Province and nearby provinces paid their last respects.

In his eulogy, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey said leaders and constitutents of Mountain Province are feeling a leadership crisis. He described the late congressman as a leader who possessed good virtues and competence.

Domogan, who considers Dalog as more than a brother to him, said the late congressman has dedicated his life in public service. He was the brainchild of innovations and programs that lifted the status of the province and its people.

Dalog’s children, lawyers Maximo Jr. and Cyphrine Maxcel said that the “best is yet to come” for the province and its people.

Huge allocation is one of the concerns being considered by the government in the conduct of a special election. But a special elections that coincides with SK and barangay elections is cost efficient.

Torres, meanwhile, said that the clamor for special election for the gubernatorial post in Mountain Province as a result of the death of unopposed and then incumbent governor Leonard Mayaen in March 2016 would still depend how the Comelec resolves the ongoing case.

A petition for quo warranto and indirect contempt with writ of preliminary injunction on the issue of the gubernatorial position in Mountain Province filed before the Comelec’s First Division has not been resolved up to now.

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