CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has accused the police of being behind the strafing incident in Barangay Sudlon 1 last Saturday night.
Osmeña said the cops are trying to terrorize them by attacking their supporters in the mountain barangays.
“To me, it’s very clear that police is behind all of these. There’s no other to pin down. They conduct checkpoints, roam around covering their faces with masks,” he said yesterday.
To recall, there are several strafing incidents that happened in the upland barangays like those in Sinsin, Sudlon 2, and Malubog.
Last Friday night, the Chevrolet showroom in Mandaue City that Cebu City Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Franklyn Ong owns was also strafed by unidentified men riding a white van.
Ong is an ally of Osmeña.
Osmeña has observed that the police started to paralyze his supporters since that late SPO1 Adonis Dumpit was shot dead in Bohol and the strafing incident of Tejero councilman Jessielou Cadungog.
“They are trying to eliminate the opposition so that they can decide for the city. They want to terrorize everybody to get rid of BOPK,” he said.
With the series of shooting and strafing incidents in the city, Osmeña has stood up and said that he is not afraid and he is not going to leave the city.
The mayor even called the police as cowards for attacking innocent people in the barangays.
“I am not terrified, they have firearms but they are cowards. They attack people who are not capable of fighting them,” Osmeña said.
He expected that there will be subsequent incidents that will occur and asked the public to make a stand in the coming elections.
“Yes (worst), they want me to run away. I am not going to run away. That’s why I am here…I’m telling them (supporters), we’ll stick together. If we fall apart now, look out the face of your children. They will be next,” Osmeña said.
The FREEMAN tried to get the side of the police but was not available as of press time.
Amor Cabilis, owner of the house that was strafed by unidentified men in Sudlon I, is not going to leave her post as the Barangay Mayor’s Office head, despite the recent incident.
She said Osmeña needs her support for the May 13 elections.
In a phone interview, she told The FREEMAN that she has no idea who was behind the strafing incident but she received information that it is related to politics because she is a supporter of the incumbent mayor.
She said she has no conflict to anyone.
“My husband and I were not staying at the house anymore. We were staying at our farm which is the property next to the road. When I heard a gunshot, that’s the time I saw men firing at our house,” she said.
She added no one was staying their house after she received advices from her close friends to vacate the property because it is not safe anymore due to the strafing incidents in the mountain barangays.
“No one was staying in the house anymore. I am securing my family since February. I, together with my husband, am staying at our farm to somehow monitor our property,” Cabilis said.
Since February 2019, she noticed that there are men riding motorcycles that roam around the barangay from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. which is something unusual for them.
Cabilis is hoping that the Philippine National Police (PNP) can address the strafing incidents in the mountain barangays considering that she does not have an idea who are those men.
“My message to the police is to solve the incident since the same incident also happened in Barangay Sinsin earlier. I don’t know what their motives are because I am just a BMO head,” she said.
Osmeña advised her to secure her family for their safety because shooting incidents are rampant nowadays.
In another incident, Dinefer Aguilar of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) told The FREEMAN that there are five unknown men that went to her house past 11 p.m. last Saturday.
She said the five men knocked the door with force which prompted her to secure his husband and his two-year old child at the room.
“We were sleeping in our living room, so when I heard them knocking, I immediately told my husband to go to the room together with my child. So when I opened the door, they told me to come out and then slap me,” Aguilar said.
After slapping Aguilar, the men reportedly threatened her to leave the house as soon as possible, otherwise they will come again.
Like Cabilis, she could not identify those men despite that they are not wearing masks. But she said those men speaks in Tagalog.
“I think, it is all related to politics since I am an identified supporter of BOPK (Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan),” Aguilar said.
Both Cabilis and Aguilar are planning to lodge blotter report before the police station so that it will be reported properly. (FREEMAN)