Baac, allies dominate Kalinga politics

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BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya: Gov. Jocel Baac of Kalinga province was overwhelmingly reelected in last week’s elections despite making headlines for hitting a broadcaster inside a radio station booth in 2011.

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Viewed as a vindication for his action, Baac was proclaimed for his second term as Kalinga governor under the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) obtaining 63,213 votes, nearly double than his closest rival, Conrado Dieza Jr.’s 33,498.

On June 7, 2011, Baac gained notoriety for allegedly assaulting radio announcer Jerome
Tabangay right inside the station’s booth of the government-owned dzRK Radyo ng Bayan in Tabuk City.

Tabangay was then so critical of Gov. Baac’s administration according to a local media group and that Tabangay had criticized Baac for the reported prevalence of “jueteng,” an illegal numbers game, and illegal logging in the province.

However, Baac explained that his intention of going to the station at that time was to clear the issues being thrown against him on air by Tabangay.

Baac said this has resulted in the two of them struggling to get hold of the microphone hitting Tabangay on the process.

On June 27, 2012, almost a year after that incident, Malacañang has suspended Baac for a month for conduct unbecoming of a public officer.

Baac’s allies including Vice Gov. Allen Jesse Mangaoang was also reelected with 52,140 votes against Farnaw Claver’s 45,586.

Also reelected was Rep. Manuel Agyao of Kalinga’s lone congressional district garnering 68,279 votes, almost twice the 35,233 votes earned by his rival.

Leander C. Domingo

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