Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Threats hound Catanduanes Board Members

Catanduanes Provincial Board Members Giovanni A. Balmadrid and Arnel Turado
Photo by Ramil Soliveres

VIRAC, Catanduanes— Provincial Board Members Giovanni A. Balmadrid and Arnel Turado announced yesterday that they received death threats on Easter Sunday from an unidentified text message sender.

In a press conference yesterday, Balmadrid read the content of the text message he received: “balmadrid sobra man isog mo dai k ng bga pili huway lang sa mga bga pasar mong reso igwa kng na apektuhan,saday p mga aki mo baad maapura buhay mo.”

Turado, for his part, said the message he received reads: “mayad n hapon pbm baging sobra na ang pkialam m,pati huwes bga dali mo hinay lang baad dai mag awat buhay mo.”

Balmadrid said the text message made him fear for his four children, in case something does happen to him.

“I consider this as a death threat kasi sa tono ng text nya, may capability sya na mangpatay ng tao. Hindi natin pwedeng isawalangbahala ito,” Turado said.

They said they have no idea who the sender of the threats could be.

“Wala akong kaaway,” Balmadrid stressed.

Suspect?


Due to the mention of the resolution and the word “huwes,” they suspect the sender could have been affected by the resolution they passed concerning Judge Lelu Contreras.

“But we are not implicating names,” Balmadrid said.

Meanwhile, Turado clarified, “I do not say and I do not think that judge could do this, hindi to kayang gawin ng judge gaya ni Judge Contreras. I still respect Judge, being our RTC judge, and I would assure that she could not do this.”

Turado said he already had the incident recorded in the police blotter. Balmadrid added that he plans to do the same.

Asked what he will do about the incident, Balmadrid said: “Mag-ingat na lang siguro. Kung ano mang mangyari samin at least alam ng publiko. Anyway, this is part of our job. Mahal ko ang trabaho ko. Mahal ko ang mga taga Catanduanes.”

“We will still do our job,” Turado said.

Judge Lelu's reaction


Meantime, in a separate media interview, Judge Lelu Contreras said she was surprised about the report that the two Board Members allegedly received threats.

She pointed out: “Bakong unanimously approved so resolution laban sako. An hapot, tano ta sindang 2 lang an allegedly threatened and not all of them who approved it.”

Asked about her reaction on the claim of the Board Members that they were the proponents of the resolution, the judge said: “Gusto nindang sabihon nag-research pa so nagpapadara sainda nin death threats kaya naaraman na sindang 2 an proponents? Unbelievable tabi,” she said. (With report from Ramil Soliveres)
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