By Anthony Giron
CAMP GEN. PANTALEON GARCIA, IMUS, Cavite – Two cities and two municipalities in the Cavite are on the Election Watch List of Areas (EWAs), which names probable trouble spots during the May elections.
Supt. Michael B. Secillano, Cavite police deputy director for administration, said the cities of Trece Martires and Imus and the towns of Rosario and Maragandon are on the EWA.
Police officials led by Sr. Supt. Wiliam M. Segun, lawyer Arnulfo H. Pioquinto, Cavite Provincial Commission on Elections (Comelec) officer, and other concerned authorities decided to include the four in the list during a meeting at the Provincial Joint Security Control Center Committee last Thursday in Trece Martires.
Secillano said Trece Martires was included because of the intense political rivalry between mayoralty candidates Gemma Lubigan and Melencio de Sagun and the reported formation of Private Armed Groups (PAG) in the city.
Lubigan is the widow of slain Trece Martires Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan while De Sagun, a former mayor of the city, is the father of incumbent Mayor Melendres de Sagun who was alleged to be the prime suspect in the killing of Lubigan.
The vice mayor was killed in a car ambush along with his driver-bodyguard last July 7 in the city. One other aide of Lubigan was wounded in the attack.
The young De Sagun, in his statements, denied involvement in the killing.
In Imus, there is a fierce feud between incumbent Mayor Emmanuel Leonardo Maliksi and Homer Topacio Saquilayan, a former city mayor.
Maliksi and Saquilayan, who are cousins, are long-time political rivals who got involved in protest in the first automated elections in May 2013. The election was won by Saquilayan but was protested by Maliksi in a legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court.
Rosario, a town in the lowland first district, was included in the EWA because of an ambush that killed seven Muslim supporters of Jose Ricafrente and his son Voltaire who ran as vice mayor and mayor, during the 2016 elections.
Maragondon made the list following an intelligence report about the presence of the communist rebels in Barangay Santa Mercedes.