FROM the mayoralty arena, the two contenders for the top post in the southern town of San Fernando, Cebu might take their face-off to another battlefield.
In an interview with reporters at the sidelines of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago alliance signing with One Cebu party in Liloan town on Friday, March 22, reelectionist San Fernando Mayor Lakambini “Neneth” Reluya said she will file libel charges against her rival, Ruben Feliciano, for allegedly maligning her.
“I’ll file a case against him for doing this, maligning my reputation. Siguro maka-ingon ta na proven naman na sa (We can say that it has been proven by the) DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) that Reluya is not on the narco-list. You put substance to your claims, to your allegations. Ikaduha (Secondly), two years and six months pa lang ko naglingkod pero busy kaayo ko (I have been very busy with my work) as mayor. But if that is his way to gain recognition or to be known, walang kwenta,” Reluya said.
Cyber libel suspect in custody
Feliciano has implied on several occasions that the mayor and her husband, San Fernando Association of Barangay Councils president Ricardo “Nonoy” Reluya Jr., were involved in the illegal drug trade. Ricardo was killed along with two others during an ambush last January that the mayor survived.
“Let’s do things professionally. I will not stoop down to his level. Let him prove his case. If he says I’m a drug protector, then show something. He cannot get away with these allegations. All the agencies and everybody knows that the Reluyas are not narco-politicians. Only he (Feliciano) believes otherwise. It’s hard to argue with a stupid person, with a crazy person,” Reluya said in Cebuano.
A “kill list” came out just before the murders of public officials in San Fernando began early this year.
Shielbert Michael Alerta Encabo, who uses aliases Shielbert Alerta Encabo, Micmic Encabo, Mikay Alerta Encabo and Rachel Pollo, was identified as the person who posted the “kill list” of Reluya’s political allies on Facebook. He was arrested by the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Office 7 for cyber libel last March 19.
While Feliciano admitted that Encabo was his supporter, he denied any involvement in the matter.
The native of Zamboanga City has been at odds with the current municipal administration since early last year after the mayor issued an executive order and a cease-and-desist order stopping Feliciano’s company, First Sangat FS International Port Corp., from developing a multibillion- peso international port in Barangay Sangat.