Armed men harass PDP-Laban gubernatorial candidate in Sorsogon

Rhadyz B. Barcia
Armed men harass PDP-Laban gubernatorial candidate in Sorsogon
Armed men demand that a rally by PDP-Laban gubernatorial candidate Eric Dioneda be stopped

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Barely two weeks after local election campaigning began in the Philippines, 20 unidentified armed men harassed the political rally of PDP-Laban gubernatorial candidate Eric Dioneda of Sorsogon province.

Eric Dioneda, son of former Sorsogon City mayor Leovic Dioneda and a member of the Rebolusyunaryong Alyansang Makabayan (RAM), was harassed by 20 unidentified armed men 3 kilometers away from the city proper at around 7:45 pm of Sunday evening, April 3, as they were holding a political rally.

The men approached Vladimir Ramon Frivaldo, who is running for vice gubernatorial post, demanding that the rally cease. The armed men also poked a gun against Eric Dioneda, ordering him – and the entire ticket of PDP Laban – to stop the rally. 

PNP Bicol regional spokesperson Malu Calubaquib added that Dioneda personally reported the incident to the Sorsogon City police station. Eric Dioneda added that the armed men who harassed them at the barangay hall of Buhatan village said, “Puta ka Eric, si Chiz nga nagpapaalam sa amin.” (You’re a whore, Eric! Even Chiz asked us for permission)

The police report said some of the suspects, armed with M16 Armalite rifles with grenade launchers, smashed the windows of the village hall and tried to shoot at people taking cover, including former Sorsogon City mayor Leovic Dioneda.

After the harassment incident, the armed men fled towards the direction of Barangay Abuyog in Casiguran town to evade the responding joint forces of PNP and Philippine Army. 

Following the the incident, the PNP held checkpoints in strategic areas to go after the fleeing unidentified suspects believed to be members of communist guerillas. Calubaquib added that Sorsogon PNP also worked with the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion to go against the fleeing armed men.

Eric Dioneda is facing off against Robert Lee-Rodrigueza, Liberal Party bet for the gubernatorial post and son of Sorsogon governor Raul Lee of the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA). –

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