Days after her emotional privilege speech at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last Jan. 17, 2022, Vice Governor Shirley Abundo has yet to file a complaint with the police or submit concrete evidence of the alleged threats and harassment directed against her family.
This was confirmed last Thursday by Maj. Antonio Perez of the Catanduanes Police Provincial Office during the meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) presided over by Governor Joseph Cua.
“Wala tayong natatanggap na any complaint from the Office of the Vice-Governor or from the Vice Governor herself,” the former Virac police chief told the body after Capt. Ivanhoe Arcilla of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) raised the issue during the Jan, 20 meeting at the governor’s conference room.
“So, the PNP is still waiting. In behalf of the provincial command, we are also blind doon sa statement from our Vice Governor,” he added.
Maj. Perez, who is assistant head for operations at the Camp Camacho, represented the Catanduanes provincial director, Col. Benjamin Balingbing Jr. who is reportedly in isolation after suffering flu-like symptoms.
Another ranking police official, who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak on the matter, confirmed that as of Saturday, no such complaint or evidence regarding the alleged threats have been received by the police from the vice governor.
It may be recalled that the other Monday, during the 3rd regular session of the provincial board, Vice Gov. Abundo tearfully disclosed the alleged threats against her life, including a report linking her to the leftist group Gabriela and raw information claiming that a warrant would be issued covering her house, the cockpit her family operated and her husband’s farm to search for illegal drugs, guns and explosives.
The vice governor likewise claimed that she and her family are under surveillance by some members of the police, which she said brought fear to her family.
She said that her public disclosure came about after deep discernment and is not mere drama as may be described by her critics, adding that she had been keeping her silence over the information she received.
Abundo stressed that she decided to reveal the incidents in order prevent anything that could happen to her due to the alleged “red-tagging”.
Denying any connection with Gabriela, she likewise averred that she and her husband have never been linked to any illegal activity and that all she has done since entering politics in 2004 is serving Catandunganons.
“Kung totoo ang nakarating na report sa akin, maawa naman kayo, sinisiira niyo ang future ng mga anak ko maging ang aking 85 taong gulang na nanay, wala akong droga, ano po ang kasalanan ko sainyo sa mga taong gumagawa ng ganito sa akin?” the vice governor asked.
She called on DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, PNP chief Director General Dionardo Carlos, Regional Director Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo at Provincial Director Col. Benjamin Balingbing Jr. Balingbing for assistance regarding the threats and even asked Bishop Manolo delos Santos for prayers for the protection of her family.
That same night after the privilege speech, Cavinitan barangay captain Matthea Tablizo, who was recently found guilty of abuse of authority and two other charges by the Sangguniang Bayan, accompanied members of the barangay tanod in conducting an inspection of the P. Araojo cockpit.
During its emergency meeting last week, the PPOC headed by the governor approved a resolution asking the Catanduanes police to conduct a thorough probe of Vice Gov. Abundo’s allegations.