Tarlac town police under fire, for Monday’s violence at municipal hall
Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2014 - 12:00am

SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA, Philippines – The municipal police of Paniqui, Tarlac is under fire for the violence that erupted Monday night as authorities were trying to convince a defeated mayoral candidate to leave the town hall.

Shots were heard inside the Paniqui municipal hall as supporters of suspended Mayor Miguel Rivilla, a second cousin of President Aquino, stormed the building to compel Rommel David to leave.

Rivilla thanked Tarlac provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Alex Sintin for intervening in the commotion and for preventing the local police officers, who allegedly sided with David.

“The police officers will undergo paraffin tests to find out who fired guns during the incident,” he said.

With the help of the local police, David occupied the third floor of the municipal hall after a judge proclaimed him winner in the last mayoral race.

The order was based on a recount of ballots that invalidated over 3,000 votes favoring Rivilla.

Last week, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) nullified the court order.

Manly Garcia, a supporter of Rivilla, told The STAR that David left the building after the commotion.

The Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG) ordered David to allow Vice Mayor Jean Linsao to assume as acting mayor, until Rivilla’s 60-day suspension lapses on Dec. 28.

The Comelec said two court decisions under different judges had dismissed David’s electoral protest. It said the third decision was null and void.

David ignored the Comelec order, saying only an order from the DILG could make him leave the town hall, where he and his supporters had been holed up since he was declared winner.

Rivilla, who was meted a 60-day preventive suspension by Gov. Vic Yap, said he would file charges against David and others who occupied the town hall.

His suspension was based on an endorsement by David’s wife, Erlinda, who is a member of the Paniqui municipal council. – With Ric Sapnu

COMELEC DAVID DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS MANLY GARCIA MAYOR MIGUEL RIVILLA PANIQUI PRESIDENT AQUINO RIVILLA ROMMEL DAVID SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT ALEX SINTIN TARLAC
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