Gunshots disrupt campaign sortie-A A +A
Sunday, October 27, 2013
A MITING de avance in Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City late Friday night was disrupted after four unidentified men allegedly fired shots near the assembly area causing panic among the candidates and their supporters.
No one got hit by the gunshots, but according to one of the candidates for a council post, some of their supporters suffered bruises when they scampered to safety.
The candidate, who requested not to be named and who is running under the party of candidate for village chief Rodrigo “Rigoy” Ocampo, believed that the incident was politically-motivated.
Senior Insp. Zaldy Gokotano, Pardo Police Station chief, said the incident happened at 9:50 p.m. outside the barangay’s covered court.
He said his office is still investigating if the incident was election-related. He is also not discounting that possibility that the
gunfires may have been caused by a fight between two rival gangs.
Gokotano, when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, said the gunshots may not have been intended for the party’s campaign sortie.
No empty shells were recovered by the police in the area.
Gokotano said the barangay election in Inayawan is contested by three parties.
“Init-init sad hinuon ang election diha (The election in the area is quite intense),” he said.
Gokotano said Ocampo’s party did not inform the police about the rally. He said he could have provided police personnel to monitor the area, and may have prevented the incident.
The female candidate for councilor said the shooting was intended to interrupt the activity.
“Para ma-disperse ang mga tawo unya dili mi makapadayon sa among rally (To disperse the audience and stop the rally),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.
She said her fellow candidate had just finished her speech when gunshots rang out in the area.
“Nagkagubot ang mga tawo. Naa’y nangapangos. Gihunong nalang namo kay naa’y mga inosenteng tawo unya maangol (People have panicked.
Some of them got bruises. We decided to stop the rally to protect the innocent people),” she said.
The armed men allegedly concealed their faces with pieces of clothes when they fired the shots.
From Sept. 28 to Oct. 20, 31 civilians were arrested and 38 firearms were confiscated by the city police for violating the election gun ban.
The Mabolo Police Station leads the most number of arrests, with nine gun violators, and followed by Mambaling Police Station with six.
Meanwhile, 26 of the confiscated firearms were low-powered while 12 were considered high-powered.
Although, no barangays have been declared under election watchlist areas, Cebu City Police Office Director Noli Romana said they will be monitoring drug-affected barangays, namely, Pasil, Ermita, Duljo-Fatima and Lorega.
Mountain barangays, such as Agsungot, Guba and Babag will also be monitored as reports of verbal tussles between opposing parties reached the police.
There are 576,481 registered voters in Cebu and 546 policemen will be deployed per polling precinct.
Barangay Guadalupe has the most number of registered voters, with 33,148; followed by Tisa, with 26,697; Lahug, with 22,094; Basak San Nicolas, with 21,703; Labangon, with 20,273; Mambaling, with 18,506; Mabolo, with 16,474; Talamban, with 13,876; Apas, with 13,165; and Camputhaw, with 12,884.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 27, 2013.