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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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Ella thanks Tatay
Digong for free polls


Ella Garcia Yulo, who won the mayorship of Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental, yesterday thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for giving the people of her town the courage to vote freely.

Garcia (UNegA) won with 13,056 votes versus her uncle, incumbent mayor Magdaleno Peña (NPC) who had 5,493 votes.

“It was Tatay Digong’s visit and assurance that gave the people of Moises Padilla the courage to vote freely,” she said.

“If he did not come to Moises Padilla, the people of the town would still be living in fear,” she said.

On May 6, the Comelec placed Moises Padilla under its control after a private armed group ambushed Yulo's campaign convoy on April 25 that left her brother and nephew dead.

Yulo blamed Peña for the ambush, but the mayor denied being behind it.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited Moises Padilla on May 8 and promised Yulo that justice will be given to her slain kin and the residents will be free to vote in the town.

The President, who also met with Peña during his Moises Padilla visit ordered him to do his part to ensure peaceful elections in the town. Peña said he told the president: “Consider it done sir. You’re the boss.”

Even after Moises Padilla was placed under Comelec control, and additional police and Army troops were sent to the town, and she explained to them that they were not allies of Peña, the people did not seem to be convinced, Yulo said.

“It was only when Tatay Digong came to Moises Padilla that they felt safe. It was very effective.It was his assurance that gave them the courage to freely vote,” she said

“I thank Tatay Digong in behalf of the town of Moises Padilla - elections were very peaceful and vote buyers were arrested,” she said.

She said the president also promised to send investigators to probe the killing of her relatives and a special prosecutor. The president assured that there will be no cover up, justice will be given for their deaths.

Yulo said she is still being careful about her security. She has asked that when Comelec control is lifted in Moises Padilla, she will still be provided with security, Yulo said.

Her aim is to restore peace in Moises Padilla, she said that, adding among her first acts as mayor is to remove the GI sheets around the town municipal hall to make it accessible to the people.

Yulo started out as secretary of her father, Jogar Garcia, when he was vice mayor and mayor of Moises Padilla. In 2013 she won the mayorship of Moises Padilla with the help of Peña who is the second cousin of her father, and in 2016, he ran as mayor of the town with her as running mate, she said.

However, the trouble apparently began when she planned to run for mayor again in 2019.*


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