May 28, 2024

■  Rimaliza A. Opiña 

Six officials of Barangay Calaba in Bangued, Abra have been preventively suspended for 90 days while the municipal council is investigating the administrative case concerning their approval and implementation of a barangay ordinance that was not reviewed by the council.

On May 3, Bangued Mayor Mila Valera has implemented the order preventively suspending Punong Barangay Renato Brasuela; kagawads Marjun Santiago, Rosemel Viado, Marlbour Jude Valera, and Carmelita Venus; and Sangguniang Kabataan chair Darryl Blanes who are administratively charged for grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority, gross neglect of duty, gross dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

The administrative complaint stemmed from the barangay council’s passage of an ordinance penalizing the irresponsible disposal of garbage.

Under the 1991 Local Government Code, barangay ordinances are supposed to be transmitted to the municipal or city council for review and approval before implementation.

In the case of Barangay Calaba, the advisory posted in public spaces in town showed that the penalty for the first offense is P1,000; community service and P1,000 for the second offense; and a picture of a gun for the third offense.

The third offense was interpreted by the general public to mean that harm awaits those who violate the barangay ordinance, resulting in an uproar in the community.

The complaint reached the municipal council, which investigated the issue last February.

Abra, just like other provinces in the Cordillera is known for its rich history. Inhabited mostly by Ilocanos and Tingguians, the province is known for its dyeing, rice farming, bamboo and tobacco production industries, natural wonders such as the mighty Abra River, and heritage churches.

This repute, however, is marred by political killings that have been taking place in the province for decades now.