Two barangay captains in Balilihan town reported to police that they were threatened by an unidentified armed man who demanded that they withdraw their support for mayoral and gubernatorial candidates.
Balilihan police chief Lieutenant Yolando Bagotchay said the suspect who was armed with a .45 caliber pistol threatened to “execute” the village chiefs if they failed to comply in two separate incidents just minutes apart on May 3.
The suspect who was accompanied by a motorcycle-riding getaway driver claimed that he was a member of the “DDS.”
“Gikan kuno sija national government unya membro kuno siya sa DDS. Gipa da kuno siya ni Duterte na dili pabotohan si Mayor Pureza [Chatto], Trisha [Chatto] ug Governor Yap,” said Bagotchay.
The DDS or Davao Death Squad is an infamous vigilante group linked to President Duterte when he was still mayor of the city.
According to Bagotchay, the suspect clad in black jacket, a cap, and a black face mask, first threatened Barangay Tagustusan village chief Marilyn Bugahod at the barangay hall at past 7 p.m. on May 3.
“Ni sud sa barangay hall unya gibutang ang caliber 45 allegedly sa lamesa,” said Bagotchay.
Some 45 minutes after, a similar incident allegedly happened to Barangay Sto. Nino Captain Migrino Camanzo at his home.
The pistol-wielding man believed to have been the same person as the first suspect issued the same threat to the village chief.
Bagotchay said the suspect allegedly told the village chiefs to instead vote for Vice Mayor Roy Olalo and Rep. Aris Aumentado for mayor and governor, respectively.
However, Bagotchay said they were sill conducting further investigations to verify the village chiefs’ claims.
“Amo pang gi-validate kung unsa ka tinuod kung unsa ba ni or tinuod gyud ni nanahitabo. For further investigation pa ni kay di man pud pudyi mi mag dretso-dretso,” said Bagotchay.
For his part, retired police general Arturo Evangelista, the security consultant of Abante Bohol, Aumentado’s political coalition, denied that his group had any hand in the incident.
Evangelista said the alleged incident was “fabricated” and was used to discredit Aumentado’s camp.
“This is a constructed scenario because we will not do that. Hindi Kasama sa agenda yan…This is a moro-moro incident aimed at discrediting the Aris camp or Abante Bohol. That is not the way we earn the hearts and minds of the electorate,” said Evangelista.
The former general said that Abante Bohol “does not have the resources to pay for goons.”
Evangelista added that they do not need to engage in illegal means to win the elections as Aumentado is leading in surveys.
“We need not do that because we are ahead of our opponents based on surveys,” he sad.
Aumentado is leading over Yap in two recent surveys conducted by the Holy Name University Center for Research and Publication and Spheres Research Services in April.
The Spheres survey showed that 57 percent preferred Aumentado to be the next governor while 40 percent favored Yap.
Meanwhile, Aumentado also led in the HNU survey which indicated that 54 percent of voters favored him while 41 percent preferred Yap. (A. Doydora)