MANILA, Philippines — The head of the Southern Police District (SPD) instructed the officials of Taguig police to identify those responsible for the melee that broke out in front of the city hall on Saturday and immediately file charges against them.
“Dapat kasuhan para madala sila (They should be charged so they would learn their lesson),” Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte, SPD director, said over the phone.
Villacorte said the police should not let the incident on Saturday which injured at least 12 supporters of mayoral candidate Rica Tiñga and two members of the Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) of Taguig City, pass without appropriate charges being filed.
By filing charges, the police would prevent a similar event from happening again in the days leading to the elections, he said.
Meanwhile, the camp of Tiñga is geared to file criminal and election charges against her rival Mayor Lani Cayetano and the POSO personnel as 12 of its supporters were injured by the POSO employees, three of them seriously with head wounds including a candidate for councilor, actor Ervic Vijandre, during a house-to-house campaign last Saturday in Barangay (village) Tuktukan.
She said one of her supporters identified as Crispina C. Hernandez, 56, suffered a broken nose and was due for surgery after a man whose face was covered by a shawl threw a rock at her.
Another supporter taking a video of the melee lost a mobile phone to one of the POSO personnel.
But Senior Supt. Art Asis, Taguig police chief, said POSO officials claimed Tinga’s supporters instigated the violence when they threw stones and hit one of the POSO officials with placards.
Among the charges to be filed by Tinga’s lawyers are grave coercion, grave threats, serious physical injuries, attempted homicide and robbery against the suspects.
Tiñga said she would file complaints of election violation offenses at the Commission on Elections.
“We are asking the Comelec to please do something about the violence taking place here in Taguig,” Tiñga said.
Tiñga mentioned last month’s killing of Jeffrey Minglana, the former head of Taguig City’s Business Permits and Licensing Office during the term of former Mayor Freddie Tinga, Rica’s brother.
The killing, which according to the Tiñga’s camp was politically motivated, was, however, deemed an isolated case by the police.