MAYOR Arturo Radaza wants status quo in Lapu-Lapu City and will contest if the opposition moves to place the city under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) merely because of the killing of a political leader and claims of harassment by armed men.

“The situation they want to bring in is very bad to our tourism. Besides, what could be the compelling reason to place our city under Comelec control? Honestly there is none.

They’re only the ones terrified,” City Attorney Joseph Vincent Lim said in a press conference at the mayor’s office yesterday.

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Lim showed to reporters a copy of a certification from the personnel office showing that political leader Allan Berame is a City Hall job-order employee from January 2007 to December 2009, contrary to claims by City Councilor Junard Chan that Berame had resigned so he could campaign for him instead for the Radazas.

Mayor Radaza is eyeing to become the first congressman for the newly created seventh congressional district. His wife, Mactan Barangay Captain Paz Radaza, is running for mayor.

Police are now focused on tracing two men from Surigao as the culprits in the fatal ambush of Berame that also injured his female companion Maritess Amit just before the New Year’s eve.

Acting City Police Director Mariano Natuel said they are 90 percent convinced that love triangle was the motive behind the killing and that they are now hunting the culprits who used an expensive .40 caliber automatic pistol in the attack.

Lim also believes that the alleged attempt to kill Harry Radaza, the mayor’s nephew who is running for councilor, during a Christmas party inside the sport complex by a member of the International Guardian Brotherhood Association and a barangay intelligence network, which the mayor suspects was the handiwork of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Lito Ruiz, and Berame’s killing were only exploited by Ruiz and Chan’s group.

“They are using those situations so they could ask for a Comelec control (in the city). That is very obvious.

We even haven’t thought of that after what happened to Harry,” Lim said.

Meanwhile, Toledo City Mayor Arlene Zambo supports Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s stance that mayors should still be able to carry guns.

“They will already get our security detail then they will still get the gun,” Zambo told Sun.Star Cebu in a brief interview yesterday during the 50th anniversary celebration of Toledo City.

“If they will take our security detail, they should at least let us carry our guns,” she added.

The Commission on Election (Comelec) has issued a resolution for a gun ban starting on Jan. 10. Security detail of all political candidates and private entities are also ordered revoked.

Zambo believes Osmeña is not alone in his sentiment; he was just the only one who spoke out about it.

Zambo, though, did not say if she will take concrete steps to fight Comelec resolution 8714.

Osmeña has urged the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) to challenge the resolution in court, citing a provision of the Local Government Code that mayors and barangay captains are entitled to carry firearms.

Section 455 of the Local Government Code states that among the city mayor’s powers and duties is to enforce laws and ordinance and in doing so, is “entitled to carry the necessary firearm within his territorial jurisdiction.” (AIV/JGA)