Fariñas widow endorsed for council seat

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

BAGUIO City Representative Nicasio Aliping and Councilor Leandro Yangot, both members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), were taken aback by the nomination of Marques Go to fill up the vacancy in the City Council.

“They made the proclamation during a press conference at the Baguio Palace Hotel without even consulting us,” Yangot said.

Yangot, one of the senior members of the LP, said Aliping is now chairman of the local chapter and must have been at least consulted regarding the proclamation of Go as LP’s nominee.


According to LP constitution and bylaws, the highest elected official from the party takes the position as chairman contrary to what was claimed that Go has not yet been replaced as the local LP leader.

Although Aliping is just a new member to the party, Yangot said they have to follow the party rules.

Yangot said recommendations may come not only from the LP but also the City Council and other city officials.

He said city officials have agreed to endorse Upper Quezon Hill village chief Lilia Fariñas to fill in the vacant position in the City Council after the death of her husband, the late Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas.

Meanwhile, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said Wednesday that the late vice mayor’s wife is the most qualified immediate family member to take the position.

His statement came as the City Council recently passed a resolution recommending Lilia Fariñas, widow of the late vice mayor Daniel Fariñas, to the City Council seat.

The resolution was strongly supported by Domogan, who believes the widow is as competent as her late husband.

Domogan said he wrote President Benigno Aquino III requesting the LP leadership to take into consideration the resolution passed by the City Council that partly reads “the elevation of councilor Edison Bilog as the vice-mayor would run roughshod to the principle of check and balance if the appointee to the vacated council position would come from the party of Councilor Bilog."

Domogan made it clear his action is not against the LP or the replacement of Bilog, but is for the interest of the people of Baguio City who voted for Fariñas and the majority in the City Council.

Domogan belongs to the “Timpuyog coalition” of several parties including the Nacionalista Party (NP) where he and Fariñas belong.

The council resolution, signed by nine councilors, Domogan and Aliping Jr., was attached to the letter that was forwarded to Senator Cynthia Villar. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas II was furnished copies of the letter.

The city executive is hopeful a favorable action to his letter will settle the issue.

Mayor Domogan also said that ariñas already expressed interest in the position.

While Section 5 of the Local Government Code clearly states the party where the one who caused vacancy came from should nominate the one who will fill in the vacancy, there are still different interpretations of the provision coming out.

The question is whether it is the death of Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas (Nacionalista Party), the elevation of Edison Bilog (Liberal Party) to vice mayor, or the elevation of Bagbagen (Nacionalista Party) as the 11th councilor which caused the vacancy. (With reports from Jojo Lamaria)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 16, 2014.

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