Voters must be safe, free in choosing candidates: DavOcc guv

By Che Palicte

May 7, 2022, 7:36 pm

DAVAO CITY – The death of a village chief in Davao del Sur, gunned down because of suspected election-related issues, is an incident that should not happen again.

Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista thus appealed on Saturday for peaceful, free, and honest elections on May 9.

In a video message to the media, Bautista said voters should be free to choose their leaders, whose focus should be on the welfare of the people.

“I am asking for you to unite for peaceful and clean elections,” Bautista added. “I am asking leaders not to threaten people. Let them vote for who they think is right.”

Barangay San Jose chair Angelito Balasbas, 50, was killed last April 27 by a motorcycle-riding attacker outside his house.

Before the campaign started, Bautista said a staff of his son, Carl Jason Rama-Bautista who is gunning for the gubernatorial seat in Davao del Sur, was also killed in Bansalan town.

Rama-Bautista said Balasbas's death has caused fear among his supporters.

“As one of the candidates in this province, we also fear for our safety. They can do it in a big city, how much more in our small municipality,” he said. (PNA)