Mayor Reluya speaks out, calls husband’s ambush-slay a ‘barbaric act’ and vows she will not be cowed
CEBU CITY – For the first time since the ambush that claimed the life of her husband and two others, San Fernando Mayor Lakambini “Neneth” Reluya publicly addressed the attack, calling it a “barbaric” act that will not cow her into withdrawing her reelection bid in May.
“I am not withdrawing from seeking a fresh mandate despite the threats that I received and I will continue the cause that Nonoy and I, together with our advisers and various stakeholders, to making San Fernando shrine (sic),” Reluya said in a statement sent to members of the media today, Tuesday (January 29).
The mayor’s husband, Councilor Ricardo “Nonoy” Reluya, the barangay captain of Panadtaran who sat in the town council as president of the Association of Barangay Councils, was one of the three killed when the mayor’s van was ambushed and peppered with about 73 bullets while it was traveling along the national highway in Barangay Linao, Talisay City on January 22.
The two other fatalities were driver Allan Bayot and the town’s investment officer, Ricky Montenora.
The mayor, who survived the attack along with two of her staff, has stayed out of the public eye and stayed guarded inside a hospital in Cebu City even during the wake of her husband, for four days in Cebu and now in the gymnasium of their town.
Hundreds of townsfolk have been lining up to pay their last respects to Nonoy Reluya, who was running for vice mayor and the runningmate of his wife in the midterm elections this May.
“The show of support from people from all walks of life has somehow eased the pains I suffer these days and it made me courageous to overcome these trials,” the mayor added.
Reluya is now serving her first term as mayor of San Fernando town, located 41.2 kilometers southeast of Cebu City.
She urged investigators to solve the case within two weeks, the deadline set by Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde.
“I respectfully call on the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Reluya to comply with the directive of PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde to solve the crime and unmask the masterminds within two weeks,” said Reluya.
The mayor also called the assistance of other government agencies if it meant speeding up the investigation process.
“Should it become necessary, I respectfully request other investigation agencies of government like the NBI to do parallel investigation,” Reluya added
Reluya also expressed gratitude to Malacañang, government agencies, groups and individuals who spoke against the ambush carried out against her and her companions.
“I am grateful that the Palace and DILG had spoken and condemned the ambush carried out against me, my husband and four others. I am likewise thankful to the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, national and local officials, various institutions in the academe and civic organizations that have shown their support and encouragement to me in this very difficult and challenging time of my life,” Reluya said.
She also thanked her constituents in San Fernando for showing her their support and sympathy in her time of bereavement, and for publicly mourning the death of her husband.
“I am also very thankful to the citizens of San Fernando, Cebu, who, during the bringing of Nonoy’s remains to San Fernando, showed up in the streets amid fear and threats, and cried for justice,” she said./ elb
The mayor’s statement in full:
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