AGOO, La Union – La Union 2nd District Representative Sandra Y. Eriguel has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to place the province under military control to prevent the spread of violence following the killings of several politicians here province this year.
In her letter to Comelec Chair Sheriff Abbas dated Nov. 20, 2018, Eriguel requested the poll body to intervene in the preservation of the peace and order in La Union, particularly in the municipalities of Agoo, Bauang, Caba and Tubao in the Second District which she represents.
Eriguel made the plea, after a series of ambushes that killed several politicians including her husband, former Rep. Eufranio Eriguel, who was shot repeatedly by unidentified assailants on May 12, 2018 while he was speaking in a caucus meeting in Barangay Capas, Agoo town two days before the 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections. Three other individuals were also killed during the carnage while several others were injured.
Prior to this, her husband survived a bombing attack on April 30, 2016 barely two weeks from the 2016 national and local elections. The said bombing attack remains unresolved.
“At the time of my husband’s murder, our police security details, including those of my daughter, Agoo Mayor Stefanie Ann Eriguel, were pulled out which left us vulnerable to any attack,” Sandra said.
“The death of my husband was not the last of violent incidents that erupted in our province. The recent ambush on Sudipen Mayor Allan Buquing and Balaoan Vice-Mayor Alfred Concepcion which resulted in their deaths as well as of their police security details placed La Union again in the headline news,” she said.
She also cited the cases of local leaders who were also gunned down in the towns of Bauang and Tubao but these were not reported in the national media.
Eriguel said the prevalence of violence in La Union has not only caused fear among her provincemates but also among politicians.
“As a matter of fact, I received an information that I will be killed once I filed my certificate of candidacy. I did not take the information lightly, thus I instructed my chief of staff to file my COC with the provincial election supervisor of La Union. I continue receiving information about ongoing threats to me and my family as well as my political allies,” she said.
To put the situation under control, Eriguel asked Comelec to call on the Philippine Army through the Department of National Defense to place La Union most especially the four mentioned municipalities under close guard as soon as possible.
“To await the start of the election period might become too late for us. The augmentation of the Philippine Army personnel in our area will provide a strong deterrent against the evil forces that are currently roaming our beloved province. The presence of soldiers will also provide confidence upon our people to exercise their freedom of expression and right to suffrage without fear of threats and violence,” she said.
Eriguel also asked Comelec to allow the personnel from the Police Security and Protection Group and the Philippines Army to be detailed to her and her family during the election period.
“I am hopeful that peace will again reign in La Union with the intervention of Comelec,” she said. Jun Elias/NPN-northboundasia.com