Supporters of jailed Iligan mayor block road to prevent his transfer from city | Inquirer News

Supporters of jailed Iligan mayor block road to prevent his transfer from city

By: - Correspondent / @rumelINQ
/ 01:06 PM March 11, 2016

ILIGAN CITY — Dozens of supporters of jailed mayor Celso Regencia have camped outside the Iligan City Jail in Barangay Tipanoy here and blockaded the road leading to the facility in a bid to prevent the mayor’s transfer to another facility.

Regencia has been in jail for allegedly masterminding the December 2014 ambush on the group of Iligan City Rep. Vicente Belmonte, in Misamis Oriental.  Belmonte survived the ambush.

Earlier, Regional Trial Court Branch 44 Presiding Judge Marissa Estabaya of Misamis Oriental ordered Regencia’s transfer to the Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail based on the motion to transfer detention filed by Belmonte.


Belmonte has maintained that Regencia should be put in a Misamis Oriental jail as the case is with a Misamis Oriental court and the attack took place in that province.


Demosthenes Plando, one of Regencia’s legal counsels, said they have opposed the move of the Belmonte camp because Regencia could not perform his duties as mayor there.

Regencia, who is running for reelection, continues to function as mayor after he secured a restraining order, which nullified the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s installation of Vice Mayor Ruderic Marzo as acting mayor.

Priest-on-leave Jeemar Vera Cruz, Regencia’s running mate in the mayoral elections, said they decided to gather outside the city jail to prevent authorities from transferring the mayor to another facility.

“The option that we have now is the conduct of People Power. By all means, we will resist the move to pull him out of BJMP Iligan. We are calling on our people to show support to Mayor Regencia. We should not allow people from BJMP and DILG to pull him out,” he said.

Vera Cruz said they decided to press for Regencia’s continued detention at the city jail after both the wardens of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail and Cagayan de Oro issued a certification that they could not accommodate high-profile case suspects such as Regencia for security reasons.

“They could not secure the life of Mayor Regencia. We have nothing left but to have Regencia detained at the Iligan City Jail through People Power,” Vera Cruz said.


He said that they have also generated 22,000 signatures to support their bid for Regencia’s continued stay at the city jail and it would be submitted – along with a petition – to the Supreme Court.

Belmonte, who initially ran for mayor but later withdrew his candidacy, said Regencia’s camp has been trying to project the jailed mayor as the underdog.

“I am the victim here, I am the complainant but now they wanted the sympathy of the law,” he said.

Belmonte also said he was dismayed at the latest development because authorities could not implement a simple court order.

“Iligan City is now being ruled by a mob,” he said.

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Senior Supt. Edgar Daniel, the acting Iligan City police chief, said they would employ maximum tolerance in dealing with Regencia’s supporters.  SFM

TAGS: congressmen, Court order, courts, Crime, Edgar Daniel, House of Representatives, Justice, law, lawmakers, Legislators, litigation, mayor, News, Politics, Regions, suspension, trials

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