Palace condemns ambush of San Fernando, Cebu mayor
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Malacañang today condemned the ambush last night of reelectionist San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakambini Reluya that resulted to the death of her husband and two of their companions.
“We deplore the ambush of San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakambini Reluya and pray for her speedy recovery,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement sent to reporters here on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.
Panelo said the Philippine National Police (PNP) was instructed to closely monitor areas under the election watchlist.
“The Philippine National Police (PNP) has been directed to monitor areas considered hotspots and to enforce the law strictly regardless of who are involved,” he said.
Panelo also urged candidates for the upcoming May 2019 elections not to resort to violence as means to amass votes, and be elected.
“We urge even as we warn the candidates to cease and desist employment of undemocratic and illegal methods to win for the law on accountability shall be applied to them with full force and effect,” said Panelo.
“During election period, political rivalry is fever pitch resulting in the upsurge of election-related violence. This unfortunate and standard norm cannot continue and the culture of violence that has characterized the electoral process will have to end,” he added.
The Palace also called the general public to be vigilant about “any brewing electoral violence between and among the candidates and their followers in their respective localities,” and alert the police about it.
Reluya, her husband Ricardo, and four others were on board the mayor’s white Toyota Grandia van when ambushed in Barangay Linao, Talisay City past 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 22.
Mayor Reluya survived the deadly ordeal but it claimed the lives of her husband, and their two companions identified as Allan Bayot and Ricky Montenora.
Ricardo was a sitting municipal councilor as president of the town’s Association of Barangay Councils and was running for vice mayor in the coming elections in May.
The assailants remained unidentified. /bjo
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