Councilor’s death may upgrade San Fernando’s election watchlist status

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |January 11,2019 - 02:02 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines –––The killing of a reelectionist councillor in San Fernando town could be enough reason to upgrade the municipality’s election watchlist status especially if the police would find that the killing has links to the victim’s election bid.

San Fernando is currently one of the towns under the six election watchlist areas (EWAs) in the ‘yellow’ category or those with election related violence, that were named by the regional police last December 2018. 

The orange category, the classification next to the yellow category, pertains to areas with presence of armed groups.

“Depende na sa investigation sa police, if they find nga naay political motivation to it, definitely mo-factor siya sa pag-assess if San Fernando will be classified further,” Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said in an interview.

“But if it looks like an isolated incident, di gyod kaayo siya mo-factor [to elevate the EWAs category],” he added.

Incumbent San Fernando Councillor Reneboy Dacalos, who was seeking reelection this May, was killed outside his sister’s store yesterday afternoon, January 10. 

The police initially eyed Dacalos’ alleged connection to the drug network of self-confessed drug lord, Franz Sabalones, as the motive behind the killing.

Investigators considered Dacalos’ link to Sabalones as the motive of the killing since the victim’s wife said he did not receive any threat prior to the incident.

In April 2018, a month prior to the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls, a councilman of Barangay San Isidro, San Fernando was also killed while he was driving his car along General Maxilom Avenue. The killing was also linked to drugs. /rcg

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