Commotion erupts as man grapples for son’s COCBy Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
ILOILO CITY—A commotion erupted at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Pavia town in Iloilo on Friday after the family of a candidate tried to prevent the filing of his candidacy for mayor.
Police detained Gerardo Gorriceta, 63, after he tried to snatch the certificate of candidacy (COC) of his son, Michael, from Comelec personnel past 11 a.m., triggering the commotion.
Two COCs, including that of Michael, were torn when Gerardo grappled for possession of the documents from municipal election officer Evelyn Masiado and Pavia police chief Senior Insp. Dante Dumaguing.
“He was in front of me when he suddenly grabbed the documents and we had to control him,” Dumaguing told the Inquirer.
Michael, 32, a contractual employee of the municipal government, is a namesake of his third cousin and municipal Councilor Michael Gorriceta, who is running for mayor under the ruling Liberal Party.
Councilor Gorriceta, 36, son of third-term Pavia Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta, is running against Elmer Hubero of the United Nationalist Alliance.
Mayor Gorriceta said the filing of COC of his son’s namesake and distant cousin was meant to sabotage his son’s candidacy.
“You do not have to be a genius to see why this happened and who is behind it,” the mayor said.
Gerardo, employed as a driver of the municipal government, was taken to the Iloilo Mission Hospital after he felt ill following the commotion, according to Dumaguing.
On Oct. 2, Gerardo filed a report at the Pavia police station to say his son and his family could not be located.
Lawyer Elizabeth Doronila, provincial elections supervisor, said she has asked the municipal Comelec office to submit a report and gather evidence for the possible filing of charges against Gerardo for criminal and electoral offenses.