Osmeña: Violence against allies will worsen leading to election day
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña warns that violence and threats that he claims to be allegedly perpetrated by the police will worsen as the May 13 election draws nearer.
Osmeña gave the warning in a press briefing at a hotel in Cebu City on Thursday, May 9, after a mini dump truck of a barangay chief in Bonbon was set on fire at dawn that day.
Osmeña said that the recent threats allegedly from the police were forms of terrorism, manifestations of an undeclared martial law in the city, and the people did not have any agency to run to because the police were allegedly directly involved.
He said that even non-partisan City Hall employees were allegedly threatened when two police cars were stationed outside the home of Ronaldo Malacora, Department of General Services head, on the afternoon of May 8.
He also cited the alleged stoning of the house of the mayor’s secretary, Catherine Yso, on May 9.
”What are they trying to prove? These (police) apparently believe that the Cebuanos can be intimidated,” said Osmeña.
He said that Police Colonel Royina Garma, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director, had allegedly been scaring the Cebuanos through the alleged repeated questionable checkpoints, alleged suspicious search conducted in the homes of the members and supporters of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), and even alleged direct harassment through trespassing.
The mayor also identified that a police officer (CDN Digital is withholding his name until he gives his side on the allegations) as the person responsible for arson on Bonbon Barangay Captain Eduardo Cabriada’s mini dumptruck.
Osmena said that this police officer was allegedly the right hand man of Garma.
He said that this police officer allegedly asked Cabriada to give him the list of BO-PK leaders in the barangay a few hours before Cabriada’s dump truck was set on fire.
Cabriada allegedly refused the police officer’s request.
CDN Digital reached out to the police officer and to Garma but they both could not be reached for comment.
After the attack on Cabriada’s property, the barangay captain said he and his family had since been in hiding and that he was now hesitant to vote on May 13 because of what happened.
Osmeña said that if the police were going to hurt anyone, then it should be him instead of the barangay chiefs like Cabriada.
He said that he planned to file charges against the police officer for the alleged questionable checkpoints, the alleged illegal serving of search warrants, and the harassments he allegedly did against the BO-PK supporters.
He also said that he had filed a case of grave misconduct against Garma at the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman of the Visayas so that Garma would be obliged to give the police officers’ names alleged involved in the alleged incidents.
“Once she gives the names, we will file charges against them one by one,” said Osmeña.
He also encouraged the Cebuanos to stand against these threats and to continue to vote on election day.
He said that people should take into consideration the recent events and to remember who the real enemy was — Garma and her police.
“We are not geared to fight police terrorists. I do not even have a gun. As a mayor, I will be responsible for the peace and order of Cebu. How I am going to do it, I don’t know. I just hope the people realize what’s going on,” said Osmeña.
Osmeña’s running mate for vice mayor, incumbent Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos, said that Cebuanos would not “buckle” and that she and the mayor would be there to protect the people.
“Enough with the threats and the despearation. Fear has it’s limit,” said Delos Santos.
In previous statements, Garma said she would no longer answer the tirades of Osmeña done through social media or through press conferences because it was a waste of her time when she has a city to secure for the elections.
She also said that her legal team had already been working on the complaints filed against her by the mayor.
The police will also be filing charges against Osmeña and Delos Santos for allegedly violating a checkpoint and allegedly harassing some policemen./dbs
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.