HOUSE Speaker Prospero Nograles has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to consider putting Davao City under its control after the discovery of two improvised bombs at the province last February 25.
The first improvised explosive device (IED) was found inside the Davao City Hall and the other outside the gate of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Tionko Street.
Nograles said the discovery of the two explosives can be a prelude to some plot to undermine the integrity of the elections in the province.
“This could be a prelude to something more sinister. The people behind this incident does not only want to scare the public but are most likely developing an evil scenario to sabotage the elections in Davao City. The Comelec should now step in and place the city under its full control.”
The Speaker is joining the mayoral race in Davao this coming May elections.
Nograles said what further interests him is the fact that one of the bombs were found inside the premises of the City Hall, which “is supposed to be a highly secure building.”
“This could be a moro-moro to justify some evil plans to undermine the electoral process. An independent probe body should dig deeper and get into the bottom of this incident before things can go out of hand,” he added.
Nograles also stressed it is a coincidence that the bombs were discovered at a time when he was participating at a debate for the mayoralty candidates at the Ateneo de Davao University Jacinto Campus.
“Is this a mere coincidence or some people only wanted to shift the public's attention to the discovered bombs and not to the debate which Sara chose not to attend?” he asked.
Nograles is running against incumbent Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, the daughter of Rodrigo Duterte who has held the mayoral post for years.
Police forces in the province are meanwhile conducting investigation to know the motives behind the two incidents.
Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said a petition still needs to be filed with the poll body before it considers the Speaker's suggestion.
"Comelec Resolution provides that there should be serious armed threat and a petition filed with Comelec that will be heard before Davao City is placed under Comelec control," Sarmiento told Sun.Star.
Under a Comelec control, the poll body is in charge of the security forces deployed and other administrative duties of the local government.
Last January, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) identified 14 provinces as election hotspots.
These are Abra, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Ecija, and Masbate in Luzon; Western Samar, Eastern Samar, and Antique in Visayas; and Basilan, Sulu, Maguindanao, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Sarangani, and Zamboanga Sibugay in Mindanao. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)