More troops deployed in Capiz town after pols’ confrontation
ILOILO CITY—More policemen and soldiers have been deployed to President Roxas town in Capiz after a confrontation Thursday between mayoral candidates and their allies.
Eight policemen from the Provincial Public Safety Company of the Capiz provincial police and seven soldiers from the Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion have augmented the 30-member municipal police force, according to Senior Supt. Robert Rodriguez, Capiz police director.
Rodriguez said he also talked with the camps of Mayor Raymund Locsin and Receliste Escolin, village chief of Badiangon, to diffuse the tension.
Escolin, an independent mayoral candidate and a supporter of Sen. Grace Poe of the Partido Galing at Puso, has accused Locsin (Liberal Party) and the mayor’s supporters of barging into his house and mauling him past midnight on Thursday, according to Rodriguez.
READ: Poe group slams LP bet’s attack on ally in Capiz
Supporters of the mayor allegedly also pointed guns at Escolin’s supporters.
Locsin has admitted being at the house of Escolin but denied being armed and mauling Escolin.
“(Locsin) has claimed that he went into Escolin’s house after someone fired a gun as he was accompanying home a former barangay (village) captain who is his supporter,” Rodriguez told the INQUIRER.
Rodriguez said none of the parties has submitted affidavits on the incident.
He said he requested Locsin to surrender his licensed firearms for “safekeeping and as an act of goodwill” to maintain peace in the municipality. More checkpoints will also be conducted in the municipality.
Supporters of Escolin have posted a video on social media purportedly of the incident but Rodriguez said the footage was dark and it was unclear if any of those seen were armed.
President Roxas, 35 kilometers southeast of Roxas City, the provincial capital, is a fourth class municipality (annual income of less than P35 million) with a population of 28,561 (2010).
The town has a history of intense political rivalries but the Provincial Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC) composed of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Commission on Election will not place the municipality on the list of election watchlist areas (EWAs) because it has not met the parameters of EWAs.
The EWAs are determined based on a history of intense partisan political rivalry, previous incidents that are considered politically motivated and election-related, presence of threat groups, and the proliferation of firearms.
No area in Western Visayas has been categorized as EWA as of Friday. The region, which includes the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo, has three cities and 95 towns with 3,389 villages.
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