The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Negros Oriental said village chairpersons and representatives (kagawad) could still run for a local Liga Ng Mga Barangay (LnB) post despite unpaid annual dues.
DILG-Negros Oriental director Farah Gentuya made the assurance on Monday, December 11, following the memorandum issued by Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. on December 8.
The memorandum noted that a 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) dated December 6, was issued against the LnB National Executive Board by a Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Tacloban City on the matter of duly elected village chiefs and representatives seeking election in local Liga chapters.
The TRO ordered the LnB National Executive Board to refrain from any acts that will disenfranchise barangay officials and instead allow them to file their certificates of candidacy for the local Liga elections as long as they meet the minimum requirements under the 2022 by-laws and election code of the Liga.
“These duly elected barangay officials can be voted upon in their local Liga chapters provided that they have paid their dues before the scheduled election,” Gentuya said.
“Based on the express orders of the RTC, during the effectivity of the TRO, the Liga cannot disqualify any candidate from running in the Liga elections due to the barangay’s failure to pay their dues by August 31,” the DILG memo said.
Abalos said barangay chairpersons and representatives must be given enough opportunities to pay their dues, especially newly elected village officials who have just assumed office, saying it “is unreasonable and unjustifiable to disenfranchise a barangay for a failure or neglect not directly attributable to the incumbent punong barangay.”
Gentuya said copies of the DILG memorandum will be sent to different local Liga chapters for guidance, adding that so far, no petition for disqualification arising from unpaid dues has been filed. (PNA)