Saturday, April 27, 2013

P'nan LP Press Campaign vs. Poll Violence

By Pangasinan Muna

Top officials and members of Liberal Party in Pangasinan closed ranks today to press their campaign against election-related violence in the province, saying intimidation and threats on their ranks would not stop them from fighting for good governance. “While we call for peace, we will not be cowed into submission or silence. We will continue to expose and oppose the evil deeds of the incumbent governor and his gang in the Provincial Capitol,” said Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, the LP’s gubernatorial candidate.
 “We will never back down in our fight for good governance in Pangasinan. We will continue with our peaceful campaign activities, going directly to the people to hear their complaints and address their concerns,” Braganza added.
Braganza made the remarks as he reads before the media the statement of solidarity signed by LP officials and members during a caucus at the Pangasinan Regency Hotel in Calasiao today.
 The LP called the caucus to address the security concerns of party mates who were shocked to hear Wednesday’s grenade attack on the family residence of Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduna. Orduna has filed plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino for allegedly pocketing more than P900 million from jueteng payola.
 “We, officials and members of the Liberal Party in Pangasinan, close ranks today to express our collective outrage over the recent grenade attack on the family residence of Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduna,” the LP statement said.
 “This act of violence, which endangered the family members of Mayor Orduna, has no place in a civilized society and deserves the condemnation of all peace-loving residents of Pangasinan,” it added.
 Braganza said LP members share the belief that the grenade attack on Mayor Orduna was connected to the plunder charges that the latter filed against the incumbent governor.
 “We believe that the grenade attack is not a random criminal act, but a politically-motivated action meant to scare Mayor Orduna and other concerned Pangasinenses who dare expose the evil misdeeds in the Provincial Capitol,” Braganza said.
 “Mayor Orduna is not only an LP member seeking an elective post. More than that, he is a vital witness in the plunder case filed against Gov. Amado Espino, Jr. As a trusted political lieutenant of the governor, he has also direct knowledge of other shenanigans that took place in the Provincial Capitol,” he pointed out.
 The LP members expressed confidence that the police would be able to identify and arrest, in the soonest time possible, the perpetrators as well the mastermind behind the grenade attack. “We also welcome the pronouncements from police authorities that they are ready to provide full protection to Mayor Orduna and his family members,” the LP members said in the statement.
 Appealing for calm and sobriety, Braganza said the LP leadership in Pangasinan is discouraging party members and supporters from exacting revenge on whoever planned the attack on Orduna. “We promise our full cooperation with the police in ensuring that this act of violence will not escalate in Bugallon and other parts of Pangasinan,” the LP gubernatorial bet said. “We discourage our party mates and other supporters from retaliating against whoever is behind the attack on Mayor Orduna. We will not seek revenge. We will allow the law to take its course,” he stressed.
 While calling for peace, Braganza enjoined party members and Pangasinan residents not to let their guard down and help stop activities that may lead to election-related violence. “We call on the public to remain vigilant and report to authorities any suspicious activity that may result to fraud and violence in the May elections. We have to be on the lookout for individuals and groups with sinister plots aimed at disrupting peaceful activities related to elections,” Braganza said.

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