2 die in separate clashes among pol supporters in Puerto Princesa
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines—Two men were killed in separate clashes on Thursday between supporters of rival political camps vying for the city mayoral and congressional posts here, police said on Friday.
A police report identified the victims as supporters of Palawan congressional candidate Gil Acosta and mayoral candidate Lucilo Bayron, both of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), who are running against Liberal Party candidates Rep. Douglas Hagedorn of the third district and his brother, Edward Hagedorn, who is running for city mayor.
The report identified the fatalities in the separate clashes as Diosdado Basas, 31, and Alfredo Rodriguez. Both were identified with Bayron’s and Acosta’s group.
Basas was part of a group of motorcycle-riding men who clashed with Hagedorn supporters when they crossed paths on a bridge along the national highway in Barangay (village) Maoyon, just outside the city center, on Thursday afternoon.
Rodriguez, police said, was leading a group of 100 motorcycle riders that strayed into a territory of Hagedorn supporters in Barangay Sta. Lourdes towards midnight of the same day.
Acting Puerto Princesa police chief Redentor Marañon told reporters the police were investigating but confirmed that the two cases involved the supporters of the warring political camps.
“We condemn the violence and we appeal to our political leaders to give us an assurance to conduct peaceful elections,” Marañon said.
A Bayron campaigner who figured in the Sta. Lourdes incident told the Inquirer they were ambushed when they strayed into the territory of their rivals.
“We were responding to a report that one of our leaders (in Sta. Lourdes) was being harassed but we did not know where exactly we were supposed to go. It was too late when we realized we got lost and ended up in the middle of a place full of Hagedorn supporters. We were attacked with stones and darts as we tried to flee,” the campaigner, who asked not to be identified for fear for his life, told the Inquirer.
The source, who was wounded during the incident, said Rodriguez was leading their group that was looking for the house of another supporter.
Rodriguez had two stab wounds and a head injury. His body was retrieved later by the police. Several others were wounded, Maranon said.
The same source told the Inquirer that most of the members of their group were motorcycle owners from towns in southern Palawan who joined them to avail of daily allowances, ranging from P500 to P1,500, including money for gasoline and meals. RAM/rga
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