By Ace Alegre
Thursday, June 14, 2012
BANGUED, Abra – Signaling the upcoming polls next year, Bangued Mayor Ryan Luna is facing raps for allegedly threatening, intimidating and coercing an official of Commission on Elections (Comelec) during the May 2010 elections.
Comelec Director IV Esmeralda Amora-Ladra, of the poll body’s law department, charged Luna before the Regional Trial Court in Bangued for violation of the Omnibus Election Code, particularly section 261F for allegedly threatening Tineg town election officer Editha Domaoal during the voters’ registration before the May 2010 polls.
Amora-Ladra who conducted a preliminary investigation on the case found probable cause in filing a criminal complaint on May 10, this year, believing after giving the town executive time to answer the charges, Mayor Luna should be tried by the court.
The case stem from the complaint of Tineg town Comelec officer Domaoal accusing Luna, who was then the Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) and concurrent councilor of Bangued, together with unidentified armed men barged into the area where the election registration was being held in Tineg town, slapped, held her hands and at gunpoint told her to approve his brother’s registration in Tineg.
Luna’s older brother, Cromwell, ran but lost in the mayoralty race in Tineg town against Mayor Edwin Crisologo.
The elder Luna was then registered in barangay Dangdangla, Bangued, but wanted to be registered in Tineg for his election bid.
The incident, said Amora-Ladra, allegedly terrified the election officer and “fearing for their lives involuntarily approved the application of Cromwell Luna.”
Aside from the Tineg poll official, Comelec cites Cosme Calubong form the Tineg municipal registrar, villagers Alfredo Zapata, Ricky Libeng, Paco Balucas and several others more as eye witnesses to the pre-election “terror”.
The resolution of the poll body’s law department was executed on February 12, this year, and the criminal complaint was filed before the RTC in Bangued on May 10.