WHY include the driver?
Geraldine Gaye Yapha, candidate for congresswoman of Cebu's third district, was reportedly threatened with death if she wouldn't withdraw from the race.
The note, wrapped with two bullets, was found at the back of a pick-up truck belonging to the Yaphas. Gaye's dad, who's running for vice mayor in Toledo City, confirmed the finding of the note Wednesday morning (February 20, 2019).
The note, used to wrap two bullets, said, "Withdraw or die. One bullet for you and one for your driver." Not funny for the driver who found the crumpled piece of paper and the bullets while he was cleaning the pick-up truck at 7 that morning. And why single out Gaye's driver among her campaign staff? How much of an asset to the Yapha camp is he?
These days, when violence on local public persons is part of the climate, the written threat may not be seen as credible by a doubting public. Less than a gun attack with one person dead or injured might not believed by a public already used to the news of killings. (The assault on the Reluyas of San Fernando set some kind of a standard.)
The threat on Yapha could be (1) a prank used by her rivals to spook the lone woman in the three-cornered race in the third district, or (2) a "threaten me" stunt pulled by Gay's camp to generate public awareness of, and sympathy for, her candidacy.
The race in the third
The item about Gaye Yapha could be the first news story from Cebu's third district since the COC filing in October. News is sparse from the congressional districts despite the feverish campaign sorties going on.
The last thing people read or heard about the three-cornered fight there was that Mayor Sonny was an accidental candidate. He filed his COC as congressman as a prank, a ruse or return blow, whichever. He really wanted to run for reelection as Toledo mayor but he could not legally flip back to the mayoralty race. How Sonny is doing there, against Gay and PJ, will interest people in Cebu's heartland.
Campaign truth or trash
How would listeners treat such allegation on radio as this: "(1) a candidate for city mayor hoards stolen cash in well-guarded room in his house and (2) the same candidate is not only a womanizer; he pimps for others"?
And the candidate was name and identified, repeatedly.
If that would happen
Gaye, or any of her two rivals -- Toledo City Mayor John Osmeña and former congressman Pablo John Garcia -- can withdraw but can longer be substituted for; the period for withdrawal expired last November 29 yet.
But in case of death or disqualification by final judgment, the substitute may file his certificate of candidacy up to mid-day of Election Day. The new COC will be accepted by Comelec provided the substitute candidate and the substituted candidate have the same surnames. No substitution is allowed for any independent candidate.
But who benefits from the withdrawal of Gaye: Sonny Osmeña or PJ Garcia? Also dubious is whether the publicized threat will benefit Gaye's bid at all.
'I will f***ing kill'
The public display of toughness by using the word "kill" along with an obscenity seems to be spreading among public officials.
A notable example is Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. who warned Tuesday (February 19) he'd kill anyone who asks applicants for passport renewal to present their birth certificate.
A Twitter user wanted to know if the birth document was needed for renewing passports. Teddyboy's reply: "Hindi p***ng ina. Not for passport renewal. If anyone asks you, tell me who and I will f***ing kill him/her." By the way, he spelled out the cuss words.
He sounded tough and coarse, like his boss.
Tell us about it.