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Tagana-an mayor wants town placed under Comelec control

Alarmed by the killing of local officials in his town, Tagana-An Mayor Cezar Diaz has asked that his Surigao del Norte municipality be placed under the control of the Commission on Elections.

In an interview with GMANews.TV, Diaz said he had requested the Comelec, the Philippine National Police, and the military’s Joint Security Coordinating Council (JSCC) to place Tagana-an under Comelec control.

But before Diaz's request, Vice Mayor Sally Bulac (from Nacionalista Party) had already proposed the same measure after the killing of a party-mate last December.

“I was not furnished a copy of the proposed municipal resolution, but I have written JSCC requesting them to place Tagana-an under Comelec control area," said Diaz, who belongs to the administration party Lakas-Kampi (Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino)-CMD.

Diaz said the recent three killings in his town might have been politically-motivated.

Last July 1, 2009, Rene Espinosa, Tagana-an municipal project coordinator of Rep. Guillermo Romarate Jr., was shot dead in Barangay (village) Lower Libas.

On Dec. 29, 2009, the Nacionalista Party’s vice mayoralty bet Wilbert Suanco Origenes was also gunned down by two armed men.

Retired Army Sgt. Oscar Animo was the third to fall victim to purported political-related killings. Animo, a leader of the Padajon-Surigao party that supports Lakas-Kampi-CMD, was killed last Monday.

Tagana-an police head Senior Superintendent Ruben Daraman said they have already arrested three suspect in Animo’s killing.

Daraman identified the suspects as Elezaldi Remelitiza, Ruben Beltran, and Ricky Maraat. Recovered from them were a .45-caliber hand gun a .357-caliber pistol. - with Sophia Dedace/LBG, GMANews.TV

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