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PIA Press Release

More security forces deployed to Bogo City as political tension escalates

Cebu City (11 May) -- Additional security forces from the police and the military are deployed to Bogo City in northern Cebu as tension between two political rivals continue to escalate.

Police Regional Office (PRO-7) Chief Gen. Lani-o Nerez bared about 100 policemen will be sent to Bogo City today to assist in the maintenance of peace and order in the area.

Thirty soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines - Central Command that are part of the reserved battalion will also augment the military forces from the 78th IB that are already in Bogo, according to the Deputy Civil Military Operations (CMO) Maj. Christopher Tampus of CentCom.

The reserved battalion numbering to 450 soldiers is on standby to respond to any contingency situation that might occur, according to Tampus.

Gen. Nerez after a press conference last night immediately went to Bogo City to attempt to resolve and diffuse the political tension between two influential political families --- the Martinezes and the Salimbangons.

Though Bogo City has been placed as one of the Election Watchlist Areas (EWAS), the problem erupted when incumbent Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr., his wife, children and his supporters blocked the vehicles of Rep. Benhur Salimbangon because he wanted the police to conduct a search on the congressman's service vehicle, a Ford Expedition and his back-up vehicle, a black Kia Carnival, for firearms. Salimbangon is running for re-election against Martinez ' son Celestino III for the 4th District.

Supt. Julian Entoma, Bogo City Police Station Chief who responded to the scene explained that the police could not force Salimbangon to open his vehicles in the absence of a search warrant.

Nerez also said there is "no legal basis" for us to do the search on mere suspicion that Salimbangon is hiding some firearms in his vehicles.

As of late last night, there was a standoff and that the Martinezes continued to block the vehicles from leaving the area and that he would not leave unless Salimbangon acceded in opening his vehicles for inspection, this was learned.

Tampus on the other hand, said that in case there is a need for air assets to be deployed to the area then the Philippine Air Force based in Mactan, Lapulapu City is also ready in case of emergency. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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