LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – A provincial board member who had a running feud with slain Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr. even before the 2013 election has clarified he and his family have nothing to do with the cold-blooded slaying that happened in broad daylight on June 7.
|Board Member Raul Sison|
Interviewed by newsmen at his office before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) started its regular session Monday, a teary-eyed Second District Board Member Raul Sison said even if his son Raul Martin Sison is the vice mayor of Urbiztondo and will succeed as mayor by operation of law, he can swear that the Sison family had nothing to do with the slaying.
Sison said he was attending a cockfighting at Araneta Coliseum on the day Balolong was assassinated while supervising work on a construction site owned by his family at the back of CSI Supermarket in Poblacion, Urbiztondo.
He said he is willing to cooperate with investigators and to give his statement if it is needed by them.
“If they (investigators) need my statement, I will do it if only to help expedite the solution of the case, he said in Filipino.
In the interview with newsmen, Sison said he knows that the suspicion will be heaped on them (Sisons) because it is his son Raul Martin who will benefit from the incident and become the town mayor.
That is why, he said, he advised his son not to assume yet the position of the mayor till Mayor Balolong is brought to his final resting place.
The elder Sison used to be councilor of Urbiztondo during the first term of office of Mayor Balolong, a position that qualified him to be elected as president of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL).
Now, he is on his first term as regularly elected board member of Pangasinan representing the second congressional district.
They used to be both councilors of the municipal council and when Sison ran for mayor, Balolong was his vice mayor. Balolong was elected but Sison failed in his mayoralty bid.
Sison acknowledged that he and Balolong parted ways when he was asking his help on the administrative case filed against him by Loida Cancino, the municipal treasurer of Urbiztondo before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
He said he was not able to help him because at that time, majority of members of the legislative body believed Balolong committed lapses in connection with the withdrawal of loan of the municipality from the Philippine National Bank (PNB) sans duly approved resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan.
Balolong, a member of the Liberal Party, appealed his preventive suspension from the Office of the President which decided in his favor.
Both Balolong and Sison further strained their relationship when the wife of Sison ran for mayor in the last election with their son Raul Martin as her vice mayor. Balolong won a second term of office.
In the barangay election, Sison’s wife again ran for barangay captain of Poblacion, Urbiztondo but lost to Myrna Balolong, wife of the mayor. (PNA)