CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Despite the signing of peace covenant among opposing political leaders in Masbate, two political supporters were murdered in the past two days, a military report said.
Major Harold Cabunoc, Chief of the 9ID Public Affairs Office, quoting the report from Special Task Force Masbate, said that Mr Ireneo Lumahog, 51, a resident of Bgy Tubog, Pio V. Corpuz town, was shot to death by two heavily armed men at around 1:30pm on March 15, 2010.
A day earlier (March 14), at around 10:00pm, a certain Jose Frias y Sambajon of Bgy Busing, San Pascual, Masbate was shot to death by at least 3 heavily armed men who were carrying M16 Rifles. Frias was said to be a political leader of incumbent Mayor Zacarina Lazaro of said municipality.
The series of election-related violent incidents (ERVI) occurred despite the efforts of STF Masbate and all stakeholders to forge a peace covenant and advocacy for an honest, orderly and peaceful elections (HOPE) in the province.
On February 17, 2010 a multi-sectoral forum for an honest, orderly and peaceful elections (HOPE) was conducted in the province, facilitated by Fr Leo Casas of the religious sector.
During that event, five prominent political personalities attended the forum including Congresswoman Rizalina Lanete who is running for Governor; Congressman Narciso Bravo Jr and Congressman Antonio Kho who are seeking for reelection, Gov Elisa Kho and Retired General Darius Tuason who are running for Congressional post in their respective districts.
Several arrests have been effected resulting to the incarceration of at least 10 PAG members since January 1, 2010.