Cebu News

4 city brgy chiefs get death threats

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - At least four barangay captains in Cebu City have allegedly received death threats recently, according to the Association of Barangay Councils.

ABC President Phillip Zafra said the barangay captains of Bonbon, Sudlon 2, Buot, and Tabunan received threats through calls and text messages, but all from the same number.

“I was able to talk to our mountain barangay captains and mao na ang usa sa ilang na-raise nga concern,” he said.

Zafra said the barangay captains divulged the matter in their meeting last Wednesday afternoon in his office.

During their meeting, he said all four barangay captains received the threats from the same number asking for money or else they will be killed.

“So, akong gitawagan ang caller. Lalake ang nitubag. Akong gipangutana, ingon ang lalake nga dili niya intention ang mopatay, mangayo lang siya og kwarta para plete sa Ozamis (in Misamis Occidental),” he said, adding that he believes the threats are a form of extortion.

However, he still reminded the barangay captains not to be complacent.

This is reportedly the second time that the barangay captains received threats this year.

The first time was last January and included the barangay captains of Budlaan, Tabunan, Agsungot, Pamutan, Cambinocot, Binaliw, Toong and Buot.

Zafra said these threats should not be taken lightly and that barangay captains should always be vigilant.

Bonbon barangay Captain Alexander Ibarita said he received the death threat last Tuesday.

He said he was asked by an unknown caller to give him money or else he will be killed.

Zafra said the caller reportedly sent the same statement to the other barangay officials.

He said receiving death threats is part of the risks of being a public servant.

Zafra said he is still collating reports of the barangay captains, which will then be forwarded to the Cebu City Police Office.

Sought for comment, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council Chairman and City Councilor David Tumulak said death threats are expected, especially during election season.

“That’s expected kay during election season, motumaw gyod nang well-organized nga mga tawo nga manghadlok dili lang sa mga barangay officials, apil na ang mga kandidato,” he said.

Tumulak, though, warned barangay officials to be vigilant.

He said they should take precautionary measures like changing their routines everyday to avoid being traced. — (FREEMAN)

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