MAYOR Elmer Codilla of Kananga town, Leyte fears that the conduct of May 2013 elections in his area might turn tense and violent after members of a battalion were seen in “full battle gear.”
Codilla said six members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB), who were wearing in “full battle gear,” were seen in an unlighted waiting shed area where his convoy was heading.
Codilla, who is seeking for reelection in this year’s midterm elections, said he could not help but fear for his life.
According to him, the incident happened last April 22 past 8 p.m. along the junction of Barangay Poblacion leading to Barangay Rizal where he and his group were going at that time.
Codilla’s chief of police, Inspector Antonio Angcay Jr., persuaded the six men to come to the town police station. The cops admitted that they were in the area to provide security for candidate Matthew Torres, who is running for mayoral post against Codilla.
Mathew, together with his sister, unseated Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez, was said to be in Rizal for a political sortie.
The cops were identified as Jerico Pusay, Hansel Canada, Joe Crist Lucedo, Rommel Cabrito, Romualdo Rola, and Adonis Gerona, who were said to be on motorcycles bearing no plate numbers with no document to show that they have an order issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Codilla said that the presence of the policemen could be interpreted that they are being partisan and that they are acting like personal security of Torres.
He said that he also asked help from Director General Alan Purisima on what possible action that should be taken against Senior Superintendent Ramil Ramirez, who heads the RPSB.
Gomez, on the other hand, denied they have security escorts.
Ramirez said that his policemen were in the area not as personal security of the Torreses, but to provide area security.
“We are fully aware that we are not allowed to act as security of our politicians. They were there to provide area security as there was a schedule (political) activity there,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said they are allowed to provide area security and there was an order from the Comelec, adding that neither Matthew nor Lucy was in the area for the policemen to be tagged as their security escorts.
Ramirez said that the motorcycles of the cops were newly-purchased, reason why the vehicles did not bear plate numbers. (Leyte Samar Daily Express))