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Cebu News

Diamante sued for “intimidating” supporters of rival candidate

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante and his alleged security guard are facing criminal complaints for allegedly intimidating voters to support his reelection bid.

Irecia Sucayre, of Barangay Gimamaa in the same town, filed the complaint before the Commission on Elections. She said the acts of Diamante and her uncle, Nestor Parone, constitute an election offense punishable under the Omnibus Election Code.

She is also asking for the disqualification of Diamante to run as mayor. Comelec is given by law jurisdiction to conduct preliminary investigation of all election offenses.

Sucayre, in her affidavit, stated that Parone "forcefully compelled or induced" voters in the barangay to vote for Diamante as per instruction by the latter.

Sucayre is serving as leader of Diamante's challenger, Daphne Lagon.

"Being in the side of Daphne, I and my co-leaders had been repeatedly and forcefully convinced by Parone to support for Diamante and vote for him," she said.

"As a loyal leader of Daphne, I strongly and firmly stand to support her candidacy against Diamante, thereby causing respondent Parone, my uncle, to intensely angry (sic) at me and my co-leaders," she added.

She recounted incidents when Parone allegedly intimidated her and her co-leaders by showing his firearms and threatening to kill them if Diamante will lose in the elections. Parone reportedly bragged that he will be protected by Diamante.

"Complainant (Sucayre) and her co-leaders were alarmed, frightened, and terrified for their lives as respondent Parone, who is a known bodyguard of Diamante, is notorious for strings of criminal activities in Luzon," she lamented.

She attached in her complaints news clippings of the arrest of Parone, who was charged of murder, attempted murder and robbery.

The Omnibus Election Code prohibits threats, intimidation, use of fraudulent device or other forms of coercion to compel a voter to cast or omit his vote.

Sought for comment, Diamante denied maintaining personal security guard and knowing Parone. He said the complaint is just one of the many other complaints intended to harass him.

"Daghan kaayong kaso gi-file nako pero wa ra gyod nako patuli," Diamante told The FREEMAN.

Sucayre made it clear that the complaint is not a political harassment but was filed to ensure the holding of a clean, free, orderly, and honest elections. —(FREEMAN)

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