By Florence F. Hibionada/ PNS
An otherwise regular day inside the Commission On Elections (COMELEC) in Pavia, Iloilo was marred by a Certificate Of Candidacy (COC) ‘snatching’ yesterday.
The drama unfolded minutes into the arrival of lawyer Jonee Bill Taneza, authorized representative of mayoralty bet Michael Gorriceta. A former casual employee of the Pavia Municipal Government, Gorriceta is the namesake of another mayoralty bet, Councilor Michael Gorriceta, son of incumbent Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta.
Reporters present witnessed how the parents of “independent” bet Michael Gorriceta caused a scene and attacked the lawyer. Radio reports said the ire though of the duo was focused on the COC of their son which was then in the possession of the lawyer. In the scuffle, the father of Gorriceta grabbed and ripped COMELEC’s folder of COCs.
“Indi na puede ang ila gin-ubra. Binastos ina! (What they did is not acceptable. That is abusive/rude”,” Attorney Elizabeth Doronilla, COMELEC Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) said. “We will study what charges to file but clearly that is harassment against our Election Officer there.”
At the center of the controversy is the impending “Michael Gorriceta vs Michael Gorriceta” mayoralty fight in said town.
Turned out the family of “independent” Mike is against his running against Councilor Mike. In fact, the family had him reported as “missing” when days prior to yesterday’s filing “independent” Mike, his wife and two sons left for an undisclosed location. Town sources said though that “independent” Mike is bent on running against the mayor’s son and will surface soon once his security is assured.
“If they have issues against his candidacy then there is a proper forum for that. They cannot just barge into the COMELEC office and harass our Election Officers. I already talked our Election Officer there Evelina Maciado to prepare an incident report and have the matter reported to the police,” Doronilla said.