Sta. Ana mayoral candidate Atty. Dennis Pangan shows copy of the petition received by the Comelec on April 28 to put Sta. Ana under Comelec control. Photo by Joann Manabat
CLARK FREEPORT – Mayoral candidate Atty. Dennis Pangan has filed a petition to place Sta. Ana, Pampanga under the control of the Commission on Elections over what he called present threats, history of violence, intimidation, and vote buying.
The petition was received by the Comelec on Thursday, April 28.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 10757, an area can be raised under its control due to history of/or current intense rivalry among contending parties wherein such rivalries could motivate people to engage in violent acts, the area has been previously declared under Comelec control, incidents of politically-motivated violence involving aspirants/candidates and other supporters, violence may be facilitated by the employment of private armed groups, and/or serious armed threats posed by the communist terrorist and other threat groups.
Pangan alleged that incumbent Mayor Norberto “Ross” Gamboa openly threatened to kill him during one of his caucuses which, he said, was recorded in a Facebook live. However, the video has been deleted. He added that Gamboa has “vowed to win at all costs to ensure victory in the coming elections.”
“Sa kanyang isang caucus ay nagsabi siya (Gamboa) na kung ako ay tatapat sa bahay niya at pupunta ako doon, ay papatayin ako. Hindi na dapat namin papansinin yun pero nung mga sumunod na araw, yan naman sarili niyang pamangkin na si Eugene Gamboa Nicolas ang nagsabi mismo na, “ika ng mate. Murit mu,” said Pangan.
“So sabi namin baka naman talagang nang-iinis lang ang mga ‘to. Pero nung mismong Miyerkules ng gabi, ang mismong anak ng mayor ang nagsabi na ‘kumuha kayo ng bato, batuhin nyo yan.’ Sabi namin, sobra na kasi nakita na namin sa bayan ng Sta. Ana naglalagay na ng barikada mismo ang mga tauhan ni mayor,” he added.
Of the third-class municipality’s 14 barangays, Pangan said 13 village chiefs are actively campaigning for the incumbent mayor. He named two — Jesus Lising of San Pablo and Marcos Lulu of San Pedro – as allegedly openly intimidating and harassing him, his leaders, and supporters.
Pangan also shared that the road leading to his bailiwicks from barangays San Pablo, San Roque, San Agustin, and Sto. Rosario was blocked with sand and “kubol” and is being manned by Gamboa’s supporters.
“Naglagay ng isang truckload ng panambak sa mismong gitna ng kalye at naging one-way ang daan na yon papunta dun sa apat na barangay na alam naman natin na balwarte natin at laging natatalo ang mayor doon, tapos naglagay din ng isang kubol. May bantay yon, 24 hours a day na kilala naman na supporters ng mayor,” Pangan said.
Pangan alleged that barangay officials are recruiting several supporters by giving them P500 to P1,000 and added that Gamboa has threatened his supporters to prevent them from voting in the coming elections.
“Napag-alaman namin na nung 2016 at 2019, ito rin ang ginawa ng mayor na yan. Naglagay din ng mga ganyang barikada, kubol, at marami ring mga tao ang hindi pinagboto yung mga botante at supporters ng kabilang partido.” he furthered.
Pangan said he hoped that if the Comelec cannot place Sta. Ana under its control, it should at least be declared as an “area of concern.”
He said that should this fail, he would raise his concerns with the Philippine National Police.
Pangan is running under Nationalist People’s Coalition against Aksyon Demokratiko’s Soy Guevarra while the incumbent mayor Gamboa is running under the local party Kambilan.
Right to Reply
Punto tried but was unable to contact Sta. Ana Mayor Ross Gamboa for his side until press time. The publication is open for his response at his convenience.