May 6, 2007
THE ILOCOS TIMES - NEWS

Laoag ABC scores harassment

THE Laoag City Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) scored what they said was harassment of several local candidates.

In a press conference held at the City Hall Conference Room Laoag ABC President Benjamin Cabacungan appealed to those whom they said was harassing barangay chairmen to stop.

No wen ken mabalin awan kuma iti pannaka-har-harass dagiti kakapitanes ta kaasi kami met nga agbubuteng ket nawaya kadi nga agpasyar kadagiti bar-barangay mi a mangkita iti nalinak ken natalna nga eleksyon,” Cabacungan said.

Among those who claimed they were harassed was Barangay Camangaan Chair Andres Guillermo who related that in the morning of April 29 when he just arrived in his residence, there were several supporters of mayoralty candidate Rowland Albano in the area and they put up three big posters of the former general, one of which was posted in their outpost, and which is public property.

As a result of this, Guillermo said he talked nicely to them, asking them to remove the campaign poster in the outpost reasoning that the posting was against election laws and that posters should only be put up in designated poster areas.

After this, he moved to their Barangay Hall when he received a text message from his wife who said she got into a quarrel with Albano’s supporters, particularly the candidate’s sister, identified as Dr. Maribel Albano-Pichay, who went to their house.

Kadwa na kanu pay ni fiscal Atrinaja, ngem idi maawatan nakan iti sitwasyon, ginuyguyod na kanu ni Dra. Pichay nga inpan diay lugan dan,” Guillermo related.

Guillermo added that Albano’s party later conducted a campaign rally in their barangay but they were unable to use the Barangay Hall since they had a canvassing that night, and the local candidates were forced to use a vacant lot.

However while the canvassing was ongoing, Guillermo said a black car stopped near the area. There were allegedly six persons in the car and one of them approached him, identifying himself as a colonel.

The colonel then reportedly said: “Har-harass-em met dagiti tattao iti barangay mo.

Idikwan guyuden nak idiay nangisit a lugan da ta inkam kanu kitaen diay mangibag-baga nga har-harasek ida ket diak kinayat a ta awan met plate number na diay lugan. Napipia pay tay agitulnog iti natay ta malasin mo. Isu a binilin ko dagitay tanod ko nga agalerto da bassit,” Guillermo said.

After the incident, both parties reported the incident to the police for record purposes. Guillermo later asked for police security for their barangay fiesta activities.

Meanwhile, Cabacungan said they may pass a resolution or manifesto condemning the harassment of any of the barangay chairmen, hoping that this would stop the issue.

Aside from Guillermo, Cabacungan also identified Barangay Chairs Felix Ayson of Barangay 14, Melanie Pedro of Calayab, Romulo Paulino of Lataag, and Lorenzo Factora of Barangay 5, who also allegedly were harassed.

Daytoy a mapaspasamak, dawatek iti kooperasyon amin a barangay officials ken tanod iti intay naan-anay a panag-sipsipot kadagiti sum-sumrek ta awan kuma umay mangbut-buteng iti bar-barangay tayo ket no adda man, i-report tay kuma a dagus iti pulisya,” Cabacungan said.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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