MABALACAT –- A lady mayoralty bet here has denied her critics' accusations that her camp is violating the gun ban implementation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Marjorie Morales-Sambo, who is running for mayor under the Nacionalista Party, even belied reports that she is being surrounded by armed supporters whenever her team conducts meetings with constituents.
Morales-Sambo, a scion of reelectionist Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales, issued the statement in reaction to the accusations that her security escorts are abusive.
This, after Morales-Sambo’s alleged close-in security man identified as Ryan Parica Miranda, 36, of 13 Mabini Street, Barangay Dau, this town was arrested by elements of the town police for gun toting.
“Sinong umaabuso? Hindi naman kami umaabuso. Baka [sila] ang umaabuso,” Morales-Sambo said.
She described the issue as politically-motivated saying her detractors are desperate.
“Wala na lang silang alam na issue na pwede nilang itira sa amin kaya ginagawa nila ito,” she said.
According to Morales-Sambo, she already asked the Comelec to approve her request for two policemen who will act as her bodyguards for the duration of the elections.
Miranda was charged with illegal possession of firearms and violation of the election gun ban.
Miranda yielded a 9mm Taurus hand gun with serial number TBU 14273 when accosted by SPO1 Robert Manaloto and PO2 Pepe Lomocso of the Community Police Assistance Center 1, Dau Police Station.
The licensed pistol is loaded with nine live ammunitions when siezed from Miranda, according to Dau police chief Jowen Dela Cruz.
Miranda was reportedly on a drinking binge along Mabini Street in the said village before he was arrested by policemen.
Reports said Miranda, with a gun tucked on his waist, had been challenging his neighbors to a fistfight.
A concerned teenager informed elements of Community Police Assistance Center 1 of the matter in a bid to prevent any untoward incident.
Manaloto and Lomocso immediately rushed to the area and saw Miranda hurling invectives to his frightened neighbors.
The responding police asked Miranda to hand over his weapon and the latter surrendered peacefully.
Upon interrogation, police said, Miranda introduced himself as a “close-in security personnel” of Morales-Sambo.
Mabalacat Water District (MWD) chairman Diosdado Pangilinan, a close ally of incumbent mayor Morales, earlier denounces the incident and hit Sambo’s camp, as he said "if she can defy her father why not the Commission on Elections gun ban?"
“Wala pa man po sa puwesto umaabuso na ang kanyang mga tao. Paano pa po kung si Marjorie ang maupo baka takutin nila ang mga tao,” added Pangilinan.
John Sambo, Marjorie’s husband, on the other hand, clarified that Miranda is a close friend and not a body guard.
“Wala naman po kaming body guard. Alam po namin na ipinagbabawal ng Comelec yan,” Sambo said.
Sambo added that his wife has nothing to do with the incident saying “that is Miranda’s own lookout.”
According to Sambo, they are still awaiting the police officers the Comelec will assign to their camp as escorts of his wife during the campaign period.