Taguig City mayoralty candidate Rica Tinga and her supporters have condemned reelectionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and wife Mayor Lani Cayetano over the Saturday’s violence allegedly perpetrated by city hall personnel that left 12 people injured, including council bet and actor Ervic Vijandre.
At a hastily-called press conference held at a restaurant at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, Tinga, accompanied by other local candidates under their Kilusang Diwa ng Taguig, has called the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine National Police to place the city under their control to prevent further violence as election day is already less than a week.
Tiñga has expressed fears that the city, which she described as no longer safe for the ordinary residents due to the series of violence allegedly being perpetrated by the camp of Cayetano, will be more chaotic in the coming days unless concerned authorities outside the city intervene.
She told reporters that she and her group were peacefully conducting a house-to-house campaign last Saturday in Barangay Tuktukan when elements of the local Public Order and Safety Office (POSO), most of them with their faces covered and who were waiting by the side gate of city hall attacked them as they were passing through.
“We are appealing directly to President Aquino who is a party mate of Senator Cayetano to intervene and stop the Cayetanos from acting as if they are the laws in the city,” said Tinga, who denounced the POSO personnel led by their chief Kim Pautin for violently attacking them though most of them were raising their arms with the peace sign.
As a result, Tinga’s lawyers are readying charges of grave coercion, grave threats, serious physical injuries, attempted homicide and robbery against Mayor Cayetano and Pautin.
A case in relation to the Omnibus Election Code will also be filed before the Comelec as Tinga’s camp has sought for Taguig to be put under the poll body’s control.
“Akala ng mga Cayetano sila lang ang batas dito sa Taguig. They have been used to making a mockery of the law. It’s about time Comelec steps in,” Tinga said as she belied Cayetanos’ allegations that they want Comelec control so they can cheat.
“Placing Taguig under Comelec control could not be used as instrument for cheating in the present democratic setting. We want to place Taguig under its control to protect the people, to ensure a free, clean, honest and peaceful election,” Tinga, an incumbent top-notched councilor, said.
She branded as preposterous the claims of the Cayetano camp that they acted in self-defense because she (Tinga) and her supporters wanted to forcibly enter city hall to pick a fight.
“That’s a total lie! We have video footage that would show who started the violence. We got in and out of the city hall grounds peacefully so there was no reason for us to storm into city hall through its side door,” Tinga said.
In another video, as Tinga’s group passed through P. Cruz Street on the left side of city hall, 30 to 50 POSO men were already waiting. They lashed at the group then ran after Tinga supporters who had cameras with them and who were taking footages of the situation.
According to informants, these men were armed with handguns hidden in their black bags.
Tinga’s photographer, Jerry Goc-ong, 40, who suffered severe body and head injuries, was chased and beaten and lost his Canon digital camera to a POSO employee.
Meanwhile, Vijandre, 27, sustained a deep cut on the head which required four stitches while another supporter, Crispina Hernandez, 56, sustained a broken nose, after a suspect with his face covered by a shawl threw a rock at her.
She is due for surgery.
Tinga also questioned how the Taguig police have allegedly come out with an investigation report stating that it was Tiñga’s group that started the melee.
“People were getting beaten and there was not even a single policeman around, to think that the police station is just inside city hall premises. Up until all the12 victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment, the police did not lift a finger to investigate. So where did they base their report, from the POSO?,” Tinga said.
Meanwhile, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. yesterday said that he will talk with Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima to discuss the situation in Taguig City and Manila due to some election-related violence over the weekend.
The poll chief said the case in Taguig should be looked into although he awaits the situational report of the city police chief.
Brushing aside insinuation that he is interested in the Taguig City case because he once served as election lawyer of former Supreme Court Justice Dante Tinga.
He said as Comelec chairman he is inclined to do his job to determine if the incident in the Taguig could result to the area being considered as an area of concern.
Brillantes said he will discuss the matter with the police and has called on Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano not to dip his hands on the issue in Taguig because the commission will do its job according to what will be assessed.
“Malakas naman si Sen. Alan Cayetano kaya huwag na siyang makialam dahil gagawin naman natin ang tama,” the poll chief said.
In the case of Manila, an alleged supporter of re-electionist Mayor Alfredo Lim allegedly threw bottles at vice mayoralty candidate Isko Moreno, hurting supporters.
Brillantes said that incident, too, will be taken up and assessed to determine if the situation would make it as an area of concern.
While the Comelec wants an assessment from the PNP, he described the twin incidents as isolated cases only. With Alvin Murcia
Monday, 06 May 2013 00:00 Published in Metro
Determined to keep the youth away from vices and illegal drugs, the Navotas City government has lined up various activities which they can enjoy while on school vacation, Mayor John Rey Tiangco said yesterday.
Through the local Anti-Drug Abuse Council, the mayor said the “Navotaas” Sports Camp, a year-long sports program, offers free training for basketball, volleyball, swimming, badminton, table tennis and taekwondo.
He said more than 500 students and youth are currently undergoing training at the camp which started as early as March.
The city government will continue with this particular program every summer now that it is attracting more students and youth to engage in these worthwhile activities rather than getting hooked on vices and illegal drugs, the Navotas chief executive said.
Meanwhile, the Summer Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), a project of the city government and the Department of Labor and Employment, has several students employed and detailed to various offices and departments at the city hall.
Some are assigned to various health centers in the barangays where they mingle with regular workers and learn what public service is all about, Tiangco said.
He said the SPES has proven to be beneficial to the city youth, especially on students because they earn money, which they can use for their studies, in the form of salary for the service they render during the period.
Tiangco said: “Aside from the increasing number of SPES beneficiaries this year, the local government has also offered more educational assistance to the students.”
In a related development, the city’s Public Employment and Services Office, through the Navotaas Hanapbuhay Center, is continuously organizing in-house jobs fair every Monday and Wednesday at the city hall ground to provide employment opportunities for the residents.
The Navotas Manpower Training Center (NMTC), meanwhile, is continuously accepting scholars for May to the end of the year, the mayor said.
Available courses being offered by NMTC include Automotive Servicing, Building Wiring Installation, Consumer Electronics/Cellphone Repair, Dressmaking, Refrigeration and Air-con Servicing and Shielded Metal Arc Welding.
Monday, 06 May 2013 00:00 Published in Metro
The compulsory installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera system in every village in Caloocan City would serve as effective solution to crimes, Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas president, Councilor Ricojudge “RJ” Echiverri, said yesterday.
Incumbent Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri’s son, who is the standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) for the mayoralty post in the coming May 13 mid-term elections in the city, believed the system will largely contribute to the police in solving crimes easily.
If he wins the polls, the younger Echiverri said one of his priorities would be the installation of CCTV in every village in the city which has 188 barangays.
“If this system is set up strategically in all barangays, it can effectively monitor anything, especially the commission of crimes,” he said in a statement e-mailed to the Tribune.
At the same time, he said the system will also help local authorities in the implementation of city ordinances in which violators can be easily identified and apprehended after giving them warnings.
The Liga chief said it would intensify police and barangay watchmen visibility to prevent crimes especially at night.
He vowed to support the local police led by its chief Senior Supt. Rimas Calixto similar to the undertakings of his father, who is running for a congressional post (District 1), by providing vehicles, motorcycles, firearms, ammunition, communication equipment and additional allowance.
The younger Echiverri also urged the business sector to install CCTV in and out of their establishments as a deterrent to crimes.
He eyed the setting up of Wi-Fi zones as free service to Internet users all over the city.
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