MA. LUDINA Cania Ceniza, a candidate for the Talisay City council, will spend these last few days until May 9 behind bars.
Police arrested Ceniza, 51, last Monday night using a warrant for a case of large-scale illegal recruitment, after a rally in Sitio Isla Verde, Barangay San Isidro, Talisay City.
The offense is non-bailable.
Her father Primitivo Cania Jr., former Barangay Calamba, Cebu City captain, said politics may have played a part in his daughter’s arrest.
“I’m surprised,” he said.
Supt. George Ylanan, chief of the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) of the Regional Intelligence Division 7, said the arrest was based on an arrest warrant the Cebu City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 had issued.
“The case has nothing to with politics,” he told reporters yesterday.
Ylanan said the warrant of arrest was issued last May 29, 2015 and they just implemented it after they were informed about the pending case the candidate faces before RTC Branch 14. She was caught at 9:45 p.m. last Monday.
The police official said he wondered why other police units failed to serve the arrest warrant on Ceniza, who is running in the slate of Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes.
Reporters tried to interview Ceniza in the Cebu City Police Station 2, where she was detained, yesterday. She refused.
Interviewed yesterday, the mayor said his slate might adopt one of the independent candidates for the council.
De los Reyes told Sun.Star Cebu he is considering Anna Marie Oaminal-Watin as a replacement for Ceniza on his slate.
But he also questioned the timing of the arrest, exactly a week before the elections.
“Kadudahan kaayo ang pagpadakop ni Dina (Ceniza). Natulog na man unta nang warrant niya, nganong gipukaw man sa dihang gapadung ang election (It’s very suspicious. That warrant has been dormant. Why is it being revived now that the elections are close)?” De los Reyes said.
The mayor, who is seeking reelection, described the now-detained candidate as an active member of the group. “Kugihan kaayo siya mangampanya kuyog namo. Tan-aw namo niya musulod gyud siya kung nag-election pa ta run (She has worked hard during this campaign. I think she would win if the elections were held today),” he added.