Reelectionist Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim on Monday brushed aside accusations that he was behind the rock-throwing incident during a meeting of his rival, former President Joseph Estrada, in Sampaloc on Saturday night.
He said the incident might have been staged to justify a request by Estrada that the Commission on Elections declare Manila a hot spot after Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and five councilor candidates were arrested in February over a bingo event. Moreno is Estrada’s running mate.
“It’s all lies. Maybe their listeners got fed up,” Lim said of the incident in Sampaloc.
Also on Saturday in Taguig City, mayoral candidate Rica Tiñga alleged she and her aides were conducting a house-to-house campaign when they were attacked by workers of reelectionist Mayor Lani Cayetano.
Despite the incidents, the Philippine National Police said there was no need to include Manila and Taguig on the list of election hot spots that would justify stepped up security preparations.
Moreno was delivering his speech when unidentified men threw rocks onstage on Saturday night.
“Although I have been campaigning for many years and I have acted in violent films, I have never felt this kind of violence,” Estrada said.
“‘Dirty Harry’ is desperate,” said Estrada of his rival, a reference to the movie character Lim had been likened to. “We were having a peaceful rally and then we were peppered with rocks and bottles. Who else is behind this?”
A rock hit reelectionist fourth-district Councilor Jocelyn Quintos in the arm, Moreno said.
Estrada’s camp claimed that the rock was probably meant for the former President since he was sitting on the chair that Quintos took after Estrada went backstage to smoke.
Beer bottles were later thrown, hitting 60-year-old Cresenciano Gabuten, a staff member of Moreno, in the head. Marlyn Berano, a staff member of a councilor-candidate, was also reportedly hurt in the ensuing stampede. Both were rushed to Ospital ng Sampaloc.
Estrada stopped the rally to prevent further violence and canceled the motorcade and district caucus on Sunday.—With reports from Marlon Ramos and Niña P. Calleja
Originally posted: 5:34 pm | Monday, May 6th, 2013