BINALBAGAN, Neg. Occ. - Days before the start of the campaign period on May 17, accusations of employing armed goons, threats and alleged links to illegal gambling have surfaced against likely congressional candidates for the special election in the 5th district of Negros Occidental.
The special election on June 2 is being held to fill the congressional seat of Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr. who died in London on January 26.
Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol, who is filing his certificate of candidacy today at the provincial Comelec office, yesterday laughed off allegations that he will employ the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade for his campaign.
It’s mere “propaganda”, he said.
In fact, one of his campaign coordinators in Moises Padilla received threats and a warning from unidentified persons, Mirasol claimed.
Negros Occidental Board Member Emilio Yulo III, a nephew of Mirasol, is also vying for the vacated congressional seat.
Governor Alfredo Maranon on Monday said the battle for the 5th congressional seat will be a very close fight between Mirasol and Yulo, citing survey results.
Brushing aside the outcome of the survey results, Mirasol said “ I am inclined to believe and (I’m) comfortable with the people I have met everyday, rather than reading between the lines of the outcome of the survey”.
Senior Inspector Robert Mansueto, Moises Padilla police chief, yesterday said he received reports that somebody received threats in Brgy. Inolingan, Moises Padilla, related to the June 2 special elections.
However, nobody has filed a formal complaint at the police station, as of yesterday, he said.
Mansueto admitted that he has a pending request for the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office to augment the town police force for the June 2 special election.
Mirasol downplayed as “minimal” the threats received by his political campaign leader in Moises Padilla. “It depend is on him if he will be intimidated by the threats,” he said.
Mirasol also vehemently denied allegations that an illegal gambling financer is providing him with campaign funds.
He assured voters of the 5th district that his campaign will be conducted in a professional manner and “above board”.
“Let the people decide for themselves,” Mirasol said.
The military and police in Negros Occidental will employ about 1,200 personnel to ensure a peaceful and orderly June 2 special election in the 5th district, which is composed of Moises Padilla, Isabela, La Castellana, Hinigaran, Binalbagan and Himamaylan City.*GPB