AS he appealed calm from his supporters in Pangan-an islet Mayor Arturo Radaza took a sudden change of heart by saying he now favors a Comelec control in Lapu-Lapu City.

“Kung gusto sila ug Comelec control mosugot na lang ko ana kay mao man gyod kahay ilang gusto,” he said, adding he hopes the presence of policemen in Pangan-an can help ease the tension between his supporters and those of opposition City Councilor Junard Chan.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

The tension allegedly triggered the killing of Radaza’s supporter Nicasio Pogoy Saturday dawn.

“Gusto nako nga bugnawon ang ilang hunahuna. Gimaymayan nako sila, kay dili man gud ta makasiguro sa hunahuna sa mga tawo. I asked them to allow the law to give Pogoy’s death justice,” he told reporters after giving financial assistance to Nicasio’s family.

The mayor visited the islet, which is a 30-minute motorboat ride from Lapu-Lapu City mainland, with his wife Paz and some councilors.

Radaza, however, said he is convinced by the police investigation that the killing was due to a personal grudge.

Candidates

Politics was linked because the suspects and the victim were supporting different candidates for mayor.

At the inquest by City Fiscal Jude Henritz Ycong the other day, suspected gunman Arnulfo Pogoy and his three cohorts begged off, upon the advise of their counsel, from answering the charge of murder the police have filed on the basis of witness Tanny Caballa’s affidavit.

Caballa helped Nicasio walk home after being mauled when Arnulfo allegedly finished him off with a single gun-fire in the head.

Caballa said he and Nicasio were on their way home after a benefit dance when Arnulfo, Jerry Nanoy, Benigno Menguito and Joselito Mellino waylaid them and mauled Nicasio. Arnulfo allegedly stood watching his three companions gang up on Nicasio.

After the mauling, Caballa said, he helped Nicasio walk, but Arnulfo followed them and after uttering “dugay nakong nagdumot ninyo” fired a shot from behind hitting Nicasio in the head.

Arnulfo, Nicasio and Caballa are cousins, but before the attack, their group both already drunk, had an argument about the candidates for mayor they each supported.

Nanoy, is a Lupon Tagapamayapa member, Menguito is the tanod chief of Pangan-an while Mellino is a tanod.

Barangay captain Climaco Tatoy Jr. is Chan’s supporter.

During the preparation of Caballa’s affidavit the other day, Homicide Chief Investigator SPO2 Rolito Jumao-as said they need not be prodded into filing the case as it is their job to do so.

Acting City Police Director Mariano Natuel also said City Hall cannot intervene in the filing of the case.

Fiesta

“Igo man lang mi nag observe sa sakto nga processo,” he said.

Pangan-an was celebrating its annual fiesta during the killing, but days before it, four policemen were sent to ensure peace and order and were to be withdrawn on Sunday after the celebration.

With the incident that raised tension among political supporters,Natuel decided to retain the policemen until the end of the election period.

Radaza and his wife Paz, who is running for mayor, gave P9,000 cash assistance to Nicasio’s family and assured to shoulder expenses of his burial.

Each councilor contributed P1,000.

“Ang politika dinhi 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 325 days a year,” Radaza said on his observation how the island residents are critical in supporting their candidates.

Olango island police station Chief Damiano Montebon also confirmed that when they arrested Arnulfo, he claimed that his house was strafed with automatic firearms by a group of unidentified men nearly two hours after Nicasio was killed.

Arnulfo and the three others were fetched from Tatoy’s house. Their houses are 30 meters apart.