Imok allies told: Ignore mayor’s tirades; Tom urged: Learn to zip your mouth

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram, Nestle L. Semilla December 09,2017 - 11:01 PM

Barangay tanods try to pacify angry supporters of the late Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta during the bottle-throwing incident at Friday’s Rupinta’s funeral procession as it passed near city hall.

CEBU City Councilor Joel Garganera advised the residents of Barangay Ermita and supporters of the late Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta to ignore the tirades of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Garganera was referring to Osmeña’s statements about Rupinta, which have angered a lot of the late village chief’s supporters.

“Sometimes the mayor is just a distraction … well there’s nothing new (about his statements). It’s nothing new. What we’re going to focus right now is on the investigations,” said Garganera in a phone interview on Saturday.

Aside from advising the public, Garganera also called on the mayor to learn to zip his mouth.

“(Mayor Osmeña) Tommy should learn how to zip his mouth,” said Garganera, who partly blames the mayor for raising the emotions of anger among Rupinta’s supporters, which led to the bottle-throwing incident in front of City Hall during Friday’s funeral procession of Rupinta.

“If there is somebody to be blamed on, it is Tommy. If you are a member of the grieving family, then there’s the (mayor’s attitude), he definitely raises the bar of emotions. He should learn how to zip his mouth especially when it comes to death, and it would not turn out this way,” said Garganera.

Wearing shirts and carrying placards that echoed calls for justice, at least 7,000 people endured the heat of the afternoon sun on Friday to join the funeral procession along the three-kilometer route from the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish-Recoletos in Barangay Ermita to the Queen City Memorial Garden in Barangay Carreta.

They stopped when they reached the back door area of the Cebu City Hall, and started throwing plastic bottles in an apparent show of dislike for Osmeña.

But the mayor has remained unperturbed over the fiasco.

In a text message he sent to Cebu Daily News on Friday evening, Osmeña said he meant what he said in saying he was happy for Ermita residents, and that they are better off without Rupinta.

“I am happy for the people of (Ermita). I’m not a hypocrite. Imok’s tanods execute prisoners,” said Osmeña, who had been vocal in hurling accusations against Rupinta and his alleged drug links even if the late village chief was still not laid to rest.

Meanwhile, Councilor Philip Zafra claimed that it was the people inside the executive building, who allegedly started the bottle-throwing incident at the City Hall.

“The truth is nag una og labay ang City hall. It is not nga ang mga nihatod ang nilabay. Daghan nakakita nga nagsugod ang labay sa city hall (The truth is that those people at the city hall started the bottle-throwing incident and not those people at the funeral procession. Many saw that the city hall people started that incident),” said Zafra, who is the president of the Association of Barangay Councils in Cebu City.

He said that Pardo Barangay Captain Althea Racuya-Lim, also their colleague from Barug Team Rama, was hit allegedly by a stone coming from the city hall.

Zafra said that Rupinta’s supporters got angry when bottles of mineral water were thrown at them from the third or fourth floor of the executive building.

“I saw some bottles of water coming from third or fourth floor in the executive building. That’s when the people who joined the procession got irked,” Zafra said.

Rupinta was killed in an ambush by motorcycle-riding gunmen as he was driving his pickup on his way home in Barangay Tayud, Liloan town in northern Cebu last Nov. 23. He was with his common-law wife, Jocelyn Mendoza when they were attacked.

Rupinta was shot four times, including one in the head, and he died before reaching the hospital. Mendoza survived the ambush.

Since the attack, police have arrested two suspects, Jimmy Largo and Jordan Gera, who are both facing attempted murder and murder charges in court.

Police also claimed that they had identified the mastermind in the crime, but they were still gathering evidence to file a case against the mastermind.

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TAGS: allies, Ignore, imok, mayors, tirades, told

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