Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II has again lashed out at gubernatorial bet Leoncio Evasco, Jr., calling the former Cabinet secretary a “coward” for begging off from joining the Gubernatorial Candidates’ Forum 2019.
Damalerio aired the denunciation in an interview with media last week after Evasco again accused him and Governor Edgar Chatto of being behind the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs in Bohol.
According to Damalerio, the forum which was organized by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) was an avenue for candidates to convey to the public their plans for the province if elected.
Damalerio, who serves as campaign manager of Evasco’s gubernatorial rival Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap, however issued a toned-down statement following the forum which was held at the University of Bohol gym in Tagbilaran City on Tuesday.
“Mao unta ni ang higayon na madungog atong mga kandidato sa unsa ang ilang plano sa probinsya sa Bohol. Gi-conduct ni na forum kay nahimo naman ning tradition basta dunay piniliay sa Bohol,” Damalerio said.
“Wa ko kahibaw og unsa iyang [Evasco] personal na reason pero naa siya’y demand na 30 minutes introduction, wala gi-grant sa organizer tungod kay mao namay naandan sukad sauna,” he added.
Yap and actor Roberto Reyes, popularly known as “Amay Bisaya,” joined the gubernatorial candidates’ forum while Evasco, Boy Castillo and Concepcion Flores skipped the event.
Evasco had earlier begged off from joining the forum due to the “limited” time allocation for candidates to answer the forum’s introductory question “why should the Boholano people vote for me.”
According to Evasco, the public should know more about the background of the candidates, not just their platforms and programs.
“Ingon ko na mo-tambong ko sa debate, bisan pa’g magpinaakay mi ni Yap diha. Ang debate di na maoy gikinahanglan sa mga taw. Ang mga mo debate dapat mahibaw-an kung kinsa sila. Bisan pag maayo ka kaayo mo debate, mo presenta sa programa nimo, og kawatan ka, wa juy mahitabo sa kinabuhi nato ana,” he said.
Evasco asked for 30 minutes to introduce himself during the forum.
However, the BCCI earlier noted that the event’s mechanics have been applied in four editions of the event held during the past three election seasons and the current campaign period.
The BCCI said that they have not received any complaint from participants before Evasco aired his “reservations” over the event’s mechanics.
Based on the forum’s rules, each candidate is given three minutes for introduction, three minutes for answering each of the questions and three minutes for closing remarks.
“Mao nana atong mechanics sukad pa sauna. Sa akong gisulti ganina sa akong welcome remarks nga ika upat na ni na naghimo kita aning candidates’ forum sa upat na ka election ug wa man yamoy issues ani bahin aning introduction,” said BCCI chairman Albert Uy.
Damalerio and Evasco have engaged in a word war against each other after Evasco and Yap were set on a collision course as both filed their certificates of candidacy for Bohol governor in October last year.
Evasco has been known to publicly criticize and hurl accusations against his political rivals during interviews and campaign rallies.
In a political sortie in Loon earlier this month, Evasco was caught on video as he again alleged that Chatto, an ally of Yap through the Padayon Bol-anon Coalition, has been behind the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs in Bohol through Damalerio.
Evasco claimed in February this year that his allegations were based on a report submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte. However, no official from Bohol has ever been included in Duterte’s infamous “narco-list,” including the latest version which was released in March.
Damalerio previously threatened to hang Evasco from a flagpole if he could not prove the drug allegations against him and Chatto. (rt)