UNA supporters occupy town hall in Lanao Norte

KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte -- An estimated 40 United Nationalists Alliance (UNA) supporters of former Lanao del Norte board member Casan Maquiling and Florante Capitan broke the glass door as they barged in and occupied the municipal hall in spite of the resistance from the supporters of Mayor Rommel Arnado around 6:00 a.m. Monday.

Police Senior Superintendent Madid Paitao, Lanao del Norte provincial police director, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone that police have been deployed near the town hall while the military maintains its security measures around the premises.

Maquling is requesting the Commission on Human Rights to intervene since the police don't allow anyone from Maquiling and Capitan to send supplies to their supporters inside the town hall.

“Ang preso gali pakan-on kini pa hinoong mga sakop namo nga naa sa sulod sa municipal building pagutman hinoon," Maquiling said.

The police staff at the police station declined to comment on the standoff when asked by reporters who are covering the incident.

Arnado over DXC RMN said he did not receive the Writ of Execution from the Supreme Court which was supposed to be served by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Northern Mindanao.

Lawyer Dean Quijano, one of Arnado’s legal counsels, said over the phone that a sedition case against 37 supporters of Maquiling and Capitan will be filed in court the soonest.

“It's sedition since the supporters who barged in the town hall have disrupted the executive, legislative, the courts, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office and the department offices to render basic services to the public.

Quijano admitted that Arnado’s case is final; however, with the recent development in the Supreme Court on its decision allowing Senator Grace Poe to seek the presidential post might work in favor of Arnado as both have similar issue on dual citizenship.

"Every time Senator Poe's case was highlighted in the Supreme Court story, Arnado's case has also been mentioned because of the similar issue,” Quijano explained.

Maquiling said the decision of Supreme Court on Arnado’s case is final and executory and it has been annotated in the entry of “Judgment in the Supreme Court Ruling and Annotation” on February 2, 2016.

"Though Arnado renounced his Filipino citizenship, but he was still using his American passport while Poe did not anymore use her American passport after renouncing her citizenship," Maquiling said.

Quijano said the police and the local government have already gained control of the town hall as it was cleared from the supporters of Maquiling and Capitan. But Maquiling insisted his supporters are still inside the town hall.

Maquiling and Capitan claimed they won the Supreme Court decision in 2010 and 2013 election disqualification case against Arnado of Liberal Party.

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