Delos Santos raises concerns on election violence to City Council

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio April 23,2019 - 07:34 PM

Cebu City Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos. | CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos, who is running for vice mayor under the Bando Osmeña Pundok-Kauswagan (BO-PK) slate, took advantage of her privilege speech to address her concerns on what she calls as recent “attacks” to BO-PK officials by the police.

Delos Santos said she is alarmed by the recent incidents of “election-related violence” directed towards BO-PK officials.

She said this started with the death of two Barangay Lusaran village watchmen, Renato Goc-ong and Reynaldo Laguna, and Goc-ong’s wife, Emma, who died in separate police operations when they allegedly fired at the authorities.

“Such is the version of the police. However, such is not the version according to the child of Renato and Emma who was able to hide and was able to witness how his parents surrendered to the police and how they pleaded for their lives before they were mercilessly shot,” said Delos Santos in her privilege speech.

Delos Santos further recounted how the houses of three BO-PK barangay captains in Barangays Malubog, Sudlon II and Sinsin were peppered with bullets on the dawn of April 4, a case which is yet to be solved by the police.

She also cited the incident on April 17 in her neighborhood in Lahug where the police allegedly began “barging” into the households looking for firearms without any search warrant an hour after Mayor Tomas Osmeña visited her house.

“Why has our police been striking fear among us when they are the ones who should be protecting us and assuring us our safety. Why are our policemen creating an atmosphere of fear in our mountain barangays and here in our beloved city?” said Delos Santos.

“The abuse committed by the police is highly contemptuous and should be denounced in the strongest terms. This after they shot and killed the helpless people in Lusaran and strafed the houses of the barangay officials in the mountain barangays,” she added.

Delos Santos urged the police to “spare” the people of Cebu and if they should target anyone, it should be her and Mayor Tomas Osmeña, the standard bearer of BO-PK.

She moved to raise these concerns to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde and to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for these agencies to intervene on these recent issues in Cebu City.

The City Council resolved to raise the concerns to the PNP and DILG as the majority of the council members agreed with Delos Santos in condemning election violence in general.

However, there were opposition councilors, who disagreed that the police are to be blamed for what this recent string of events.

In previous statements, Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) denied the partiality of the local police to any political party and said they maintain a neutral stand.

He said the police did not “barge” into the houses of Delos Santos’ neighbors without warrant but were simply conducting the Oplan Katok, which is a warrantless police operation where the police politely encourage people to surrender their loose firearms.

Sinas also said that how Mayor Osmeña sees the police is different from the normal people’s perspective, adding that most people would feel safe around the police.  / celr

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TAGS: election 2019 in Cebu, election in Cebu, election-related violence, elections 2019
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