The pre-campaign murder of a trusted caucus emcee of the Liberal Party slate in Tubigon prompted the call to place Tubigon among the Election Watchlist Areas (EWAs) to pre-empt further bloodshed as the campaign period rolls.
Tubigon Election Officer Ingemar Macarine already submitted documents to the higher authorities of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) hierarchy, recommending the inclusion of the town in EWAs.
PSupt. Ricky Delelis, public information officer of the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO), for his part, said that as of now declared EWAs are the towns of Buenavista, Inabanga, Clarin, Danao, Ubay, Bilar and Antequera.
He said Cortes which used to be in the list has been excluded this time.
According to Delelis, the Provincial Joint Security Control Center(PJSCC)—led by the Comelec—will validate other areas that would possibly be included in the EWAs.
Despite the other shooting incidents, not politically-motivated, the police force manning checkpoints in different areas of the province had not caught any motorist violating the Comelec gun ban.
So far,Â only those caught in possession of firearms during buy-bust operations and implementation of search warrants had been recorded in the Comelec gun ban haul.
For Tubigon, security measures have heightened since the murder of one Amado Nitollama Jr., a strong supporter of LP mayoralty candidate, former mayor William Jao on May 19.
The LP camp in the town believed a political hitman must be behind the murder ofÂ Nitollama, a 51-year-old former barangay kagawad of Macaas, Tubigon.
Nitollama arrived home at around 1 a.m. on March 19 after attending a political caucus of the LP municipal slate in barangay Pinayagan Sur where he was the emcee, according to the victimâ€™s wife, Alicia.
At around 2:30 a.m., a gunshot woke her up and then found her husband dead from gunshot wound in the head.
For his part, Jao believed his rivalâ€™s camp must be behind the murder, saying that that night the group of incumbent Mayor Marlon Amila also had a caucus in Barangay Tinangnan.
At past midnight, the LP slate wrapped up their caucus in Pinayagan Sur and Nitollama, on his way home, had to pass through Barangays Tinangnan and Cabulijan before reaching Macaas where he lived.
Jao believed that the incident was politically-motivated since the victim had been their emcee in pre-campaign caucuses they conducted in the past two months in different parts of town and that he never heard that the victim had sown any grudge from other individuals on his personal side.
Jao lamented that just about 12 hours after signing the peace covenant with other political parties, the shooting incident happened.
For his part, Macaas Barangay Captain Jun Notarte attested that the victim hadÂ no enemy in their place and had been a man of good standing being a former barangay kagawad.
What he just noticed was that the victim, at times, would insert adlibs answering issues raised by the other camp whenever he would speak on stage as emcee in caucuses of LP.
Nitollamaâ€™s statement defending the LP group must have angered the other camp.