4 govs, 4 solons, 2 mayors in E. Visayas claim threats

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TACLOBAN CITY—Four governors, four congressmen, two mayors and two candidates from Eastern Visayas are asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for permission to let them have bodyguards.

The politicians applied for permits to be given security detail because of threats to their lives, according to Senior Supt. Manuel Cubillo, police regional office chief of operations and management.

He said the local police would assess the threats.

Among those who applied for security details were Governors Sharee Ann Tan of Samar, Gerardo Espina Jr. of Biliran, Paul Daza of Northern Samar and Mimiette Bagulaya of Leyte.

Except for Bagulaya, who is running for a provincial board seat representing Leyte’s fourth district, all the governors are seeking reelection.

The other applicants include Representatives Milagrosa Tan and Mel Senen Sarmiento of Samar, Emil Ong of Northern Samar and Jose Carlos Cari of Leyte’s fifth congressional district.

Outgoing Mayor Eric Codilla of Ormoc in Leyte also asked for a security escort. Codilla is challenging the reelection bid of Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez of Leyte’s third district, who did not ask for a bodyguard from the Comelec.

Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, who is running for governor unopposed, and his mother, reelectionist Mayor Remedios Petilla of Palo, Leyte, also asked for security escorts.

Rosa Jessica Uy-Delgado, who is running for governor in Samar, also made the same request to the Comelec.

Delgado is daughter of Calbayog City Mayor Reynaldo Uy, who was gunned down on May 1, 2011, by still unidentified men. His murder remains unsolved.

Cubillo said those who qualify to have bodyguards would be given a maximum of two security escorts who might either come from the Philippine National Police or the Philippine Army.

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