LEGAZPI CITY, April 5 (PNA) -- The PDP-Laban in Bicol will ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to place the entire province of Sorsogon under its classification of election hotspot after its candidates for provincial positions experienced harassment from armed men in their recent campaign sortie in Sorsogon City.
Lawyer Ted Contacto, party Bicol regional coordinator, said in a press conference Monday that their gubernatorial candidate, Eric Dioneda, who was present on the occasion, personally experienced the harassment, with a gun pointed at him.
Based on Dioneda's statement and also on the blotter of the Sorsogon Police Provincial Office (SPPO), the PDP-Laban group was having a political rally at the compound of the barangay hall of Barangay Buhatan at 7:40 p.m. Sunday when 20 unidentified armed men approached Vladimir Ramon Frivaldo, who is running for vice governor, and asked him to stop their rally.
One of them poked an AK47 rifle at Dioneda, ordered all candidates to drop facing the ground and told them that they would die if they would not stop their activity.
Some of the suspects, armed with M16 Armalite rifles with grenade launcher, smashed the glass windows of the village hall and tried to shot at those party men who took cover, including former Sorsogon City mayor Leovic Dioneda, the father of the gubernatorial candidate.
After the harassment, the armed fled towards the direction of Barangay Abuyog in Casiguran town, avoiding the responding police officers and Army soldiers.
Contacto said they could not identify to which group the armed men belong but they believe that the suspects were not New People's Army members as, he said, it was only recently that Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison announced his support to the PDP-Laban and the candidacy of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
At this time, Contacto's group is waiting for the result of the investigation of the SPPO.
Meanwhile, the party will ask the Comelec to give its candidates security from the police and the Philippine Army during their political rallies and moreover, to place the entire province under the classification of a Comelec election hotspot. (PNA) LAP/FGS/JH/CBD/EBP