Surigao, Iloilo bets harassed over permit

The New People's Army (NPA) appears to be in a roll in its election-related operations across the country, killing a mayoral bet supporter in Iloilo right in front of the candidate and fellow supporters and disarming security escorts of another mayoral bet in Surigao del Norte.

Supt. Ranulfo Demiar, spokesman of the Western Visayas Police, said at least 15 communist rebels blocked the four-vehicle convoy of Calinog, Iloilo mayoral bet Salvador Divinagracia in Barangay Agcala at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and asked them all to alight from the cars.

Demiar said that as soon as Divinagracia and his supporters slumped on the pavement on orders of the rebels, the latter then started looking for a certain Lenny Liza.

"He (Liza) is a known close associate of the mayoral candidate. He was immediately shot when they found him," claimed Demiar, noting that the victim is male despite his female name.

Demiar said the rebels also took the two M16 rifles and two 9mm pistols of Divinagracia's police escorts identified as PO3 Jesus Castillon and SPO1 Avelino Chiva.

"They also took the cellular phone of one of the policeman, apparently to prevent him from requesting for reinforcement," said Demiar.

The official said it was not clear yet why Liza was gunned down but the initial reports they received was that the rebels harassed the mayor for refusing to pay permit-to-campaign fee which is being demanded by the rebels for candidates who want to campaign in their known territories.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, at least 30 communist rebels also blocked incumbent Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte Mayor Manongas Egay, Sr. and his supporters in Sitio Banbanon in Barangay Lahi.

"The incident happened while Mayor Egay, who is seeking reelection, and his supporters were conducting house-to-house campaign in the area," a report from the Caraga regional police revealed.

The local rebels, it added, was led by a certain Macky.

They then took the two .45 pistols and a KG9 pistol from the supporters of the mayor.

"After the incident, the rebels fled to unknown direction and freed them unharmed," the report added.

The police and the military have been continuously receiving reports of NPA atrocities across the country, which they said, are expected since the rebels are trying to protect the money that they would generate from payment of permit to campaign and permit to win particularly on local candidates.

Recently, two mayoral bets in Davao del Norte and Surigao del Sur were allegedly harassed and even abducted for entering known rebel hotbeds without paying permit to campaign. The two mayors were released but were warned of more serious consequences if they still enter rebel turfs without paying money. (MB)

Surigao Today

All articles/photos on this website are for general information only. Surigaotoday.com does not own any responsibility for the correctness or authenticity of the information in the articles. We take no responsibility for loss, inconvenience or injury resulting from this information.