DESPITE complaints from the camp of Engr. Augusto Corro, members of the Special Reaction Unit and the Philippine Army will remain in Daanbantayan, as President Arroyo is scheduled to drop by the town tomorrow.

Arroyo is scheduled to go to Malapascua as part of her tour of tourism destinations in the Central Philippines “super region.”

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Corro and Dr. Jose de Leon plan to assume office this week as mayor and vice mayor, respectively. They are banking on a joint resolution from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division. The resolution lifts a previous preliminary injunction that stopped Corro and de Leon from taking over, using a court decision that declared them the rightful winners in May 2007.

Even if they successfully unseat Mayor Sun Shimura and his mother, Vice Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot, they only have a little more than two months to serve before the May 10, 2010 elections.

Corro said he will stop illegal fishing in Barangay Karnasa, Daanbantayan in less than three months.

Corro called Shimura and Loot disrespectful for gatecrashing a meeting he presided in Barangay Paypay. Corro said he and some of his partymates were with about 150 supporters when Loot and Shimura allegedly arrived in two vehicles with their “goons.”

“Bastos kaayo. Sige mi’g meeting, sige siya’g syagit nga bakakon (She was very rude. During our meeting, she kept calling me a liar),” Corro said of Loot. “What kind of government official is that? My people booed her.”

Corro said he told his supporters to remain calm.

Shimura admitted going to the “pulong-pulong” but denied bringing goons with him. He said he and his mother stayed outside the meeting area. They did call Corro a liar

when the latter told the supporters of his victory and encouraged them to accompany him and De Leon to the municipal hall today.

Shimura said he will prepare a fire truck outside the municipality in case of violence, adding that Corro has encouraged his supporters to take over the town hall by force, if necessary.

Acting Cebu Provincial Police Chief Erson Digal said he sent his deputy for operations, Supt. Tito Saterra, to Daanbantayan to oversee security preparations and ensure peace and order.

He said he wants to make sure the political problems between the Corro camp and Shimura camps will not cause problems for the president’s visit tomorrow.

The two teams from the Special Reaction Unit (SRU) and the platoon from the 78th Infantry Battalion will remain in town.

Earlier, Corro assailed the added presence of the police and military in the town, accusing Digal of being influenced by Vice Mayor Loot’s husband, Senior Supt. Vicente Loot, who is deputy regional director for operations for Central Visayas.

Digal, though, explained that the augmentation was sent to ease tension and make sure no one is hurt.

If the situation calls for it, he will add more troops, as long as the move is cleared by Police Regional Office 7 Director Lani-o Nerez and Provincial Elections Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano.

As of yesterday, Daanbantayan Police Chief Laurel Almirante assured the situation remained normal. He also said Senior Supt. Loot was not meddling in the way he ran the station.

“Muuli lang na siya diri usahay kay mubisita sa iyang pamilya (He just comes here to visit his family),” Almirante said.

Shimura called Corro and de Leon’s claim of victory as “a ploy” to give their supporters hope for the 2010 elections. Vice Mayor Loot said there is no need for the presidential party to worry about their security during the visit.

“The police and military are here. Ipadakop ang mangitag gubot (Anyone who causes trouble will be arrested),” said Loot. (JGA/MEA)