A TOTAL of 480 elected barangay officials in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo took their oath in front of the historical flag during the 120th Independence Day celebration in the town.
The oath taking of the 60 barangay officials and 420 councilors were administered by Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr.
Sta. Barbara is where the Philippine flag was first raised in the Visayas by Gen. Martin Delgado, who is a native of the town.
In his speech, the governor said election is a manifestation of freedom and a free country.
But he said a country that is independent and with honor could not be achieved if politicians submit to vote-buying practices.
“Those who fought for our freedom like General (Martin) Delgado did not dream of a government that is independent but it is without honor. What does it mean? This government should be accountable, a government that is honest, a government that not prostitute the meaning of political exercises,” he said.
“The hope and dreams of our heroes, of those who fought for our independence and fought for our freedom will be meaningless unless and until we give substance for what they fought for,” he said.
He noted the recent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections where vote-buying was evident.
He said that even the youth leaders as young as 18 years old were taught the prostituted kind of election.
“Kun ginabakal ta ang boto sang aton kasimanwa kag ginapakahuy-an naton ang dungog sang Pilipino paagi sang pagbakal sang ila boto, we are not giving substance to the freedom that our forefathers fought for,” he added.
Police Regional Office (PRO-6) regional director Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao also appealed in his speech for a meaningful start following the recently concluded synchronized elections.
“Naway manumbalik ang pagkakaisa, pagtutulangan, at kooperasyon sa bawat komunidad. Inaasahan kong tayo’y magkakapit bisig upang labanan ang kriminiladidad, at maging isa sa ating adhikaing mapanatili ang kapayapaan at katahimikan dito sa Kanlurang Visayas,” he said.