Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday dared Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. to produce Nicolas Enriquez because they want to know if he really exists or not.
Golez sought the help of the Department of Justice on an alleged plan to sow terroristic activities in the upcoming May 13 elections in Bacolod City to ensure the victory of Leonardia, his opponent for the congressional seat in the city.
This was based on a complaint filed by a certain “Enriquez” with the Commission on Elections where he mentioned the names of several police officers in Bacolod allegedly tasked to carry out the order of the Mayor.
Bacolod City Police Office spokesperson Supt. Armando Tubongbanua is also asking “Enriquez” to surface and lay his evidences to prove his allegations before the Comelec.
Leonardia said this is something that has never happened in Bacolod politics before. He called it a masterpiece by a master spin doctor, he said, referring to Golez who was the spokesman of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Leonardia said he noticed that the alleged letter of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima directing National Bureau of Investigation director Nonnatus Caesar Rojas to investigate the allegations of Golez was dated April 10.
However, the letter of Rojas directing the NBI Counter Terrorism Division director to investigate the alleged illegal activities, was dated April 8. Did he issue it even before De Lima had directed him to conduct an investigation? Leonardia asked.
Leonardia said the letter of De Lima asked the NBI to submit to her a report 15 days after receipt of her letter but it is already May 6, almost a month now.
“To imply that I will use goons to insure my election victory is surely an act of desperation. I have been in Bacolod politics for 19 years and the people of Bacolod know me well. My name has never been identified with terrorism or illegal gambling that is why I have been winning elections because people here know me and trust me,” Leonardia said.
He recalled that when Golez was still with them in Grupo Progreso, he boasted that he was a spin doctor before, and was known to tell some party members about what they did in Malacañang.
Leonardia said these wild and totally baseless allegations can only come from someone who does not know the culture of Bacolod.
He said they will inquire from De Lima if indeed she has received a complaint from Golez.
If he (Golez) had grown up and cultured in Bacolod he could not have cooked up something like this. It clearly shows that his mentality and orientation are of another kind and out of the world of Bacolod, Leonardia said.
This is a pattern of the “ambush me” scheme and cheap political gimmickry, he said.
What is possible is that the accuser is the mastermind who will blame his opponents for what he intends to do, he added.
“I have survived more difficult political battles in the past without resorting to dirty tactics. What I’m facing now is definitely not my most difficult election battle,” Leonardia said.
And let the public be warned that as elections come nearer, more of this evil propaganda machinations will surface, he added.
Meanwhile, there were frantic efforts yesterday to make it appear that Golez had nothing to do with the black propaganda stuff delivered to almost all the members of the Bacolod media by messenger on Sunday, that obviously would benefit nobody else but Golez.
A mediamen who had initially swallowed the report hook like and sinker, was claiming righteously yesterday that he had seen through the scam immediately.
Observers, however, said this has only served to open the eyes of Bacoleños to the danger of accepting someone, not one of them, who probably thinks they are stupid and can easily be tricked by clever manipulators.
Tubongbanua, meanwhile, said the BCPO personnel are mandated to be non-partisan and they are not bound to protect syndicates or politicians, as it is a clear violation of the Comelec Omnibus Election Code.
However, Tubongbanua also said they will verify and investigate if there are indeed policemen engaged in some illegal activities and will not hesitate to file charges against them.
Police Station 6 commander Chief Insp. Noel Polines, who was one of those named in the complaint, said they welcome an investigation on the matter and urged the complainant to file a complaint against them so they can answer the charges in the proper forum.
He said he is not a resident of Bacolod City and if ever the Mayor knows them. It is because they are police station commanders in the city.*CGS/SGG