Ombudsman charges vs. ‘mauling’ mayor

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    MASANTOL, Pampanga- Leaders of the Liberal Party (LP) here filed yesterday before the Ombudsman cases of gross misconduct, abuse of authority, oppression and conduct unbecoming of public official against this town’s Mayor Peter Flores whom they accused of mauling them in front of the municipal hall last Saturday.

    Joni Gonzalez, legal counsel of the LP in this town, said one of the complainants who was hospitalized is also set to file criminal charges, possibly frustrated murder, against the mayor.

    “We are just waiting for the results of all the medical examinations so that we can determine exactly what criminal case would be filed,” Gonzalez said.

    Flores could not be reached for reaction since last Monday, but Gonzalez cited reports that the mayor had also filed a case against his clients before the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) for allegedly badmouthing him.

    Vice Mayor Bajun Lacap, a member of the LP, said Edgar Guinto, 62, barangay chairman of Sta. Lucia Anak, was rushed to the Bulacan General Hospital after he and his companions were allegedly beaten by Flores at about 5 p.m. Saturday.

    “There is a reign of fear now prevailing here since the registration of voters began. Those who are known as supporters of the LP party are being harassed,” said Lacap who is seeking reelection under the LP.

    Flores belongs to the politically prominent Flores family of neighboring Macabebe town.

    He is on his third term but his brother Paul is running for his post in next year’s polls against LP mayoral bet David Guinto, at present a municipal councilor. His sister, Macabebe Mayor Annette Flores-Balgan is running for mayor of her town unopposed.

    The Floreses belong to the local Kambilan party which now serves as a political venue for former allies of ex-president, now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for the 2013 elections.

    Gonzalez said that the violence last Saturday must have stemmed from an incident last Friday at the local office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) when an LP volunteer reported that at least 15 residents of Macabebe were attempting to register as Masantol voters.

    “It would seem that the mayor vented his ire on the incident against the victims whom he saw in front of the municipal hall,” he said.

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