PNP MAINTAINING CLOSE WATCH
LINGAYEN—AS of May 8, five barangays in Pangasinan were confirmed to have been placed under Category 1 of election watch list but this could increase to seven and even more if the shooting incidents that killed an incumbent councilman (kagawad) of Urdaneta City and a former barangay chairman of San Manuel are confirmed as election related.
This was pointed out during the 2nd Provincial Joint Security Control Center Command Conference in Lingayen attended by Commission on Elections, Philippine National Police and Philippine Army officers, and representatives of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
The five barangays placed under “code yellow” are Poblacion and Dalangiring in Urbiztondo, Bued in Calasiao, Bimmekkeg in Sison, and San Roque in San Manuel due to noted intense political rivalries among the candidates.
The Third Mechanized Company of the Philippine Army already sent one squad each to Urbiztondo, Calasiao, Sison and San Manuel to secure the elections there.
Poblacion and Dalangiring in Urbiztondo were placed under watch when some political personalities in the town questioned the alleged meddling in the barangay elections in those villages by a retired general of the Armed Forces who is a native of Urbiztondo.
On the other hand, Bued in Calasiao was placed under watch because of the intense rivalry between incumbent barangay chairman Allan Roy Macanlalay, son of Calasiao former mayor Roy Macanlalay; and former barangay chairman Carlito Dion who is reportedly being backed by Mayor Joseph Arman Bauzon.
The elder Macanlalay and Bauzon fought in the last election won by the latter. Reports said Macanlalay is set to challenge Bauzon again in next year’s mayoralty polls.
P/Superintendent Charlie Umayam, Calasiao police chief, said tension is expected to worsen in Bued after reports of a shouting match between supporters of the two candidates.
Provincial elections supervisor Marino Salas said Bemmekkeg in Sison was included in the watch list because one of the candidates for barangay chairman is an army reservist who was recently visited by fellow reservists which his opponent interpreted as a show of force.
The barangay contest in Barangay San Roque, San Manuel, is between two former close friends who parted ways because of politics and are described to be bitter enemies, said Salas.
On the other hand, P/Chief Inspector Dominick Poblete, intelligence officer of the Pangasinan PNP, said San Manuel was already included in the election watch list in the 2016 Elections because of three violent incidents that occurred.
P/Sr. Superintendent Ronald Lee, police provincial director, said an investigation board is validating information whether the slaying of Armando de la Cruz, 43, an incumbent kagawad of Pinmaludpod, Urdaneta City, by armed men riding on a motorcycle in Barangay Inamotan, Manaoag, at 9:30 p.m. on May 6 was an election related incident.
Lee confirmed in a talk to newsmen that De la Cruz was a drug personality in Urdaneta City.
Also being looked into by the PNP investigation board is whether the killing of ex-Barangay Chairman Ricardo Sumajit, at 9:30 a.m. on May 3 in Barangay Dupac, Asingan by armed men riding in tandem was election-related.
At the same time, the police are investigating a report from the chief of police that he was being ordered by Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue to arrest his political opponent whom the mayor accused of meddling in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
Lee admitted that he received a letter of Arcinue regarding this matter but said his chief of police cannot arrest the politician complained of by the mayor because there is no warrant for his arrest.
Meanwhile, the 2nd Company of the Provincial Mobile Force based in Tayug is expanding its watch this election to the towns of San Quintin, Natividad, San Nicolas and Tayug where violence may erupt on Election Day. (Leonardo Micua)
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