Mayor sued for vote-buying

DUMANJUG Liberal party mayoralty candidate Cesar Baricuatro filed a disqualification case against newly-elected Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia before the Cebu Provincial Comelec office on the day of the election on the grounds of vote-buying.

Baricuatro, in a phone interview, said Garcia gave the policemen of Dumanjug Police Station P10,000 each sometime before May 13.

He said giving of any amount to policemen is a violation of Comelec rules.

Baricuatro said these policemen were relieved a few days after.

“Policemen are supposed to be neutral,” said Baricuatro.

Relieved

Earlier, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr. said the seven policemen were relieved, including the chief of police in Dumanjug, for allegedly protecting suspected gambling and drug personalities.

This includes Insp. Robert Lucernas, SPO3 Felipe Vibark, SPO2 John Eric Cordovez, SPO2 Joel Sarmiento, PO2 Rafael Baritua, PO1 Danny Canero and PO1 Achilles Redoble.

They were transferred outside Central Visayas.

Incentives

Garcia, on the other hand, said the money he gave the policemen were incentives for arresting armed men in the town last month.

“The intention is for (the) incentives, not to buy votes,” Garcia said.

He gave such amount during a program held at Doña Josefa Paras gym last May 3.

He said it was never meant to buy votes since it was given in front of the barangay officials and representatives of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr. and Senior Supt. Patrocinio Comendador of the Cebu Provincial Police Office.

The Provincial Comelec Office will forward the complaint to the Comelec Manila law department.

Garcia won a second term in the recent election. He said he beat Baricuatro with almost 4,000 votes.

“Di pa gihapon sya kadawat sa iyang kapildihan (He can still not accept his defeat),” Garcia said.

He said he is not worried about the complaint filed against him.
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