De los Santos challenges credibility of video on checkpoint altercation with police
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor and vice mayoral candidate Mary Ann de los Santos has challenged the credibility of the video presented by the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) on the supposed altercation between their camp and some police personnel at a checkpoint outside the venue of their sortie in a village in Barangay Kasambagan on Sunday night, April 28.
On two occasions on Monday, April 29 — during the Mega Cebu Candidates Forum and in a press conference, De los Santos narrated her camp’s version of the incident.
De los Santos claimed that their group was the one “harassed” by the policemen which is in contrast to the earlier narrative presented by Cebu City Police Office Director, Colonel Royina Garma
De los Santos claimed that the checkpoint was “hastily put up” citing that it was not yet there when she arrived at the subdivision premises shortly before 7 p.m. to attend the gathering of Angkas drivers.
According to De los Santos, she only knew that a checkpoint was set up outside the venue after she was asked to stop in the middle of her speech because the attending drivers had to move their motorcycles inside the gym to prevent being issued a traffic violation ticket by the police at the nearby checkpoint.
When the audience settled, De los Santos said they proceeded with the program until reelectionist Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña arrived.
She said that she signaled to the mayor that she would be going ahead as she was heading to two other sorties that night.
“Pagkakita na ko sa checkpoint of course I stopped, but I was not told to stop. Nihinay ko. I slowed down. But I was not told where the checkpoint was to stop. I was not told to stop. I was not even told to open my window. I was not even knocked,” De los Santos said.
Read more: Tomas tells Garma: We will not back down
She added that it was her escorts, who were on board their motorcycles who were stopped and confronted by personnel from the City Mobile Force Company headed by Police Major Chuck Barandog.
De los Santos accused Barandog of allegedly flaunting his firearms towards her escorts.
She added that she had to stand between Barandog and at least three policemen because her men were already restless.
“With all due respect to Colonel Royina Garma, she was not there when the incident happened. Second, everything she heard is considered hearsay because it was just a narration by his men,” said De los Santos.
“True, there was a video but the question was: is the entirety of the video shown or was it edited? I was there. I am an eyewitness to the incident and I can narrate to you blow by blow what happened,” she said.
De los Santos also questioned the means of the checkpoint and alleged that the policemen violated the law when they allegedly asked the passengers of the other vehicles to alight from their service vehicles.
“Ang mga tawo ni Mayor Tommy Osmeña [who were on board their back up vehicle] said they were told to disembark from the vehicle. That was illegal,” said De los Santos.
Amando Virgil Ligutan, one of De los Santos’ counsel on the case, said they would be filing appropriate charges against the policemen on Tuesday, April 30./dbs
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