Willy Ramasola, one of Governor Arthur Yap’s most vocal critics, remains unperturbed by the battery of charges filed against him by the governor and the Holy Name University (HNU) saying that he will continue to expose anomalies in the provincial government and that he will not be silenced by his recent arrest.
“Let’s fight the evil in the Capitol. Let’s show our strength in 2022,” Ramasola said in a Facebook post on Friday last week, a day after his arrest in Makati City over a cyberlibel case filed against him by HNU for his comments against the institution’s pre-election survey in 2019 which showed Yap leading over his then-rival former Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr.
Ramasola is also facing seven counts of cyberlibel filed against him by Yap for his Facebook posts against the governor.
The complaints were lodged by Yap before the Bohol Provincial Prosecutor’s Office on March 18, a day after former Tagbilaran City mayor Dan Lim filed a graft and corruption complaint against the governor at the Office of the Ombudsman in line with previous exposes by Ramasola.
In an interview over station dyRD’s “Inyong Alagad” program on Monday, Ramasola said he already expected the governor’s “retaliation” over his continued exposes of alleged anomalies in the provincial government.
“We fired the first shot, we threw the first punch. I personally expected that the governor will retaliate. And grabe g’yud ang iyang retaliation because the following day, hing file og libel case, then a week after, an arrest warrant was issued against me,” said Ramasola.
Ramasola also alleged that his arrest over his HNU case, which came a week after the corruption complaint was filed against Yap before the Ombudsman, was facilitated through the intervention of the Capitol.
The Makati-based businessman who traces his roots to Bohol lamented that his apprehension was carried out amid an ongoing review of his case with HNU at the Department of Justice.
He also found it dubious that his mugshot was posted by Facebook pages known to be supportive of the governor just “minutes” after these were taken at a police station in Makati City.
“Minutes after, the Facebook page of supporters of the governor posted my mugshot,” Ramasola said.
“If governor Yap, if ma arrest pud na siya because of the various graft and corruption cases filed against him, kung ma mugshot man gani siya, even if I am one of his top critics, I have no way of getting his mugshot. I think he is now out on bail, P300,000 ang iyang gi-bail adtong corruption case, until now I could not get a copy of that mugshot,” he added.
Ramasola was released from police custody after posting bail of P48,000 for his temporary liberty hours after his apprehension.
Yap meanwhile refused to comment on allegations of his involvement in his critic’s arrest.
“I have no comment. I have no trolls,” Yap, in an online press briefing last week, said.
The governor however clarified that the provincial government is not involved in his case against Ramasola.
“The provincial government is not participating in this case. My case against Willy Ramasola is my personal case,” he said.
The rift between Yap and Ramasola started in 2019 when the latter emerged as among the top critics of the then-gubernatorial candidate.
Ramasola is a staunch supporter of Evasco who lost to Yap by a slim margin in the 2019 polls.
He aired his tirades against Yap through his Facebook page during the campaign period and beyond including one that called the HNU Center for Research and Publications’ (CRP) pre-election polls on voter preference on top local government posts “bogus.”
Ramasola alleged that there were errors in the survey, as admitted by the HNU-CRP, but this was still published by the university showing Yap leading over Evasco.
He was pertaining to a statement of HNU-CRP director Ma. Paz Espiritu who admitted that they inadvertently left out questions on voter preference for the posts of vice governor and second district representative.
HNU meanwhile stood by the integrity of the results of the survey.
The university said that the overall results of the pre-election round of the HNU Bohol Poll 2019 were not affected by the lapse in the survey process. (R. Tutas)