The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now investigating the alleged threats against the lives of two of the province’s leading gubernatorial candidates, former Cabinet secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. and Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap, said a Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 official.
According to PRO 7 director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, the police are now verifying if there really are actual threats against Evasco and Yap.
“Mga personal claims nila ‘to. It should be backed up by evidence na naa g’yud threats. Kay kung sila ray mag-issue ana, anybody can say na naa siyay threat. We have to verify it also,” said Sinas during his visit at Camp Francisco Dagohoy in Tagbilaran City for a command conference on Wednesday.
Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Col. Julius Gornez has already been directed by Sinas to talk with both Evasco and Yap regarding the threats.
For the meantime, both gubernatorial bets were advised to request for additional security through the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“Kung gusto nila security, you should apply to the Comelec. Naa may procedure na ingana,” said Sinas.
Sinas noted that the still unconfirmed threats against the two high-profile candidates were not enough to prompt the Comelec and other concerned agencies to mark the entire province of Bohol as an Election Watchlist Area (EWA).
However, 24 towns or half of the province’s 47 municipalities and lone city were already classified as EWAs ahead of the May 13 polls.
Last week, Evasco’s family asked the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the alleged assassination plot against its patriarch saying they were “jolted by observations given by visiting friends and supporters from Davao City who noticed unmarked motorcycles occasionally running alongside the service vehicle of the gubernatorial candidate.”
Yap, for his part, asked the PNP to investigate the reported threat against his life.
In a statement to national media also last week, Yap said that he received a report from the BPPO on Dec. 14, 2018 stating that “there is a clear potent threat to [his] life.” (A. Doydora)