CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The police force of Paniqui, Tarlac is now under fire following a violent incident Monday night amid reports they fired their guns to defend a defeated mayoral candidate who had occupied the third floor of the Paniqui town hall weeks ago to claim the mayoral post.
Shots were heard in- side the Paniqui municipal building as some 100 supporters of suspended Mayor Miguel “Dors” Rivilla, a second cousin of President Aquino, stormed the building to compel “mayor” Rommel David to leave. Rivilla credited Tarlac provincial police chief Sr. Supt. Alex Sintin for intervening in the commotion and neutralizing the local police who allegedly sided with David.
“The local policemen will undergo paraffin tests to find out who fired their guns during the incident,” he said. David occupied the third floor of the building with the help of the local police after an RTC judge proclaimed him winner in the mayoralty race in the 2013 polls after a recount of ballots that invalidated over 3,000 votes favoring Rivilla.
Last week, however, the commission on Elections (Comelec) declared the RTC verdict null and void. Manly Garcia, a leading supporter of Rivilla, said regional officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) tried Monday to serve its order to David to comply with the Comelec verdict, but they failed to convince him to leave the third floor of the town hall.
Meanwhile, Rivilla will assume his post on Dec. 8 when his 60- Paniqui town police force in hot water… day preventive suspension expires. He was suspended upon the instigation of David’s wife Evelyn, a municipal councilor of Paniqui, who accused the mayor of impropriety in the use of local funds to pay the salaries of the medical staff of the local district hospital without the approval of the local legislative board.
Rivilla said he will file various charges against David, including illegal occupation of the town hall, as well as criminal, civil and administrative charges.