DAGUPAN CITY -- “Alaminos City is not a (political) hotspot. It is a tourist spot!” remarked Mayor Hernani Braganza during the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) forum last Thursday.
His reaction came in relation with the inclusion of his city in the list of 15 towns and cities in Pangasinan placed in the Comelec watchlist.
The city’s Hundred Islands National Park is the main tourist attraction in the province, attracting both local and foreign tourists.
The watchlist was based on the recommendation of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPO).
Braganza said he has been in politics for about 20 years now but this is the first that Alaminos was placed in the election watchlist.
“The Pangasinan PPO has been issuing statements of a potential violence this election. It is unfair that we were placed under watchlist. On what grounds are they basing this?” he said.
The mayor said he will write the Police Provincial Director Percival Barba and Pangasinan Election Supervisor Reddy Balarbar to ask them about their basis in putting Alaminos City under watchlist.
“Do they know something that I do not know? Do they have reports of armed groups present in Alaminos?,” he said.
In fact, he said he no longer requested for police security detail after his security personnel was recalled.
“I only applied when the PNP (Philippine National Police) asked me to do so. They told me it is for my safety,” he said.
Meanwhile, Braganza thanked Police Regional Office (PRO) 1 Director Constante Azares for recently detailing 15 police trainees in Alaminos.
“The Alaminos City Police Station is entitled to about 80 policemen based on the 1:1,000 police-population ratio. But there are only 39 effective policemen currently detailed in our police station,” he said.
He also thanked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Dagupan City for solving the killing of Markly Silag last December. Silag was stabbed to death by Fernando Baygan, a boatman. (LCMY)