A WEEK after tension rose due to the suspension of the proclamation of newly elected officials, the situation in Compostela went “back to normal” yesterday, a police official said.

Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Erson Digal said supporters from both camps left the vicinity of the municipal hall, after mayor-elect Joel Quiño decided to leave his temporary office in the town’s legislative building Tuesday night.

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Digal said Rachelle Wagas, the sister of former mayor Ritchie Wagas, asked her brother’s supporters to go home and remove the tents they put up outside the municipal hall.

Police teams deployed in the area, however, will not be pulled out until the possibility of tension breaking out again will become remote, Digal said.

He said he might order the troops to pull out by tomorrow if the situation in the town remains stable until today.

While the parties are waiting for the resolution of the poll protest filed by Wagas, who alleged there were irregularities in the May 10 elections, their supporters have been holding a vigil outside the municipal hall since last week.

Last Tuesday, one of Quiño’s supporters was punched in the face amid the tension.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Lani-o Nerez reminded his men to exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with the supporters.

Digal earlier said he will just wait for Department of Interior and Local Government 7 Director Pedro Noval’s written order on what to do with the tents used by the supporters. Noval is the acting town mayor.

Personnel from the CPPO assisted in the removal of the tents yesterday.

Noval met with the town’s barangay chiefs to discuss the peace and order situation as well as preparations for the town’s

fiesta celebration.

Fifteen out of the 17 barangay chiefs attended the meeting and assured Noval of their support and to keep Compostela peaceful.

Noval will meet with the barangay chiefs again to discuss the fiesta.

In reaction to Quino’s temporary defiance, Noval said he has brought the matter up with Commission on Elections Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, who issued the order to suspend the proclamation of Quiño, vice mayor-elect Nanette Dangoy and eight councilors.

Noval said Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Castillano is taking care of the delivery of his letter to Ferrer.

When asked about Quiño’s plans to file a petition for certiorari against his appointment, Noval said “It is his right.” (RSB/JKV/With JTG)