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Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines
October 28, 2012 issue

Danao mayor calls for calm, sobriety


Danao Mayor Thomas Gonzaga had called on his supporters to stay calm amidst report that they are being harassed by his political opponents. “Kon ang atong kontra kalayo, kita mao ang tubig nga maoy mopalong kanila (if our opponents are like fire, we are the water to douse them out), Gonzaga said. At the same time, the Danao mayor also called for sobriety in handling threats of political opponents. A certain Jimmy Artiaga told DyTR anchor Boy Pernia that he had received several threats from supporters of Mayor Gonzaga’s political enemies. He said that dawn of last Friday, he heard shouts from outside his house that he will be killed if he comes out. He did not come out as he was prevented by her daughter. Broken glass bottles were also thrown to their house by the group who threatened him. He also heard several gunshots fired outside. Two other supporters Gonzaga were threatened Sofronio Macalandag of barangay Carbon and Fany Torreon from barangay Taboc.

The harassed supporters told Pernia that Mayor Gonzaga had told them not to retaliate in order not to further fuel the on-going heated conflict which are perceived to be politically related. Police investigator of Danao PO2 Felix Zaldivar had confirmed that two groups had separately filed in the police blotter, all regarding incidents of harassment. The latest complainants, barangay kagawad Samuel Ayensa, Ruel Doydora and Aurelio Artiaga alleged that they were also threatened by four armed men on board a Toyota Hi-Lux. They identified one of the passengers in the car as a certain Agapito Ampong. PO2 Zaldivar said they will be filing a case at the Provincial Prosecutor office this week. Police chief PInsp Norman Nuez could not be contacted, even through his personal mobile phone, for further updates on the peace situation in Danao. The town has lately been seen as a possible election hot spot after siblings-cousins are pitted against each other in the coming May 2013 elections. Mayor Gonzaga, now serving his third and last term is running for vice mayor while on the other side, his cousin vice mayor Jose Cepedoza is the one heading the opposing political camp, running as candidate for mayor.

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