Zamboanga City Rep. Seth Jalosjos survived a gun attack in Zamboanga del Norte on Tuesday.
In a statement on Wednesday, Jalosjos said the attack happened in a public market at Barangay Poblacion, La Libertad during the miting de avance of the Alliance of Parties for Progress-Nacionalista Party (APP-NP).
“A shootout occurred for about 15 minutes. There were about 40 bullets fired. During the entire incident, which lasted over 30 minutes, not one policeman came, and their outpost was only across the street, less than five minutes from where the encounter occurred,” Jalosjos said.
The police arrived when the incident was over, even if there were around 12 police officers in the area, he added.
“Clearly, there was no shortage of policemen. They could have easily responded if they wanted to. But they opted to simply sit in through the entire incident. It was impossible not to hear the gunshots,” the lawmaker pointed out.
“I am speaking to expose this lawlessness and to hopefully put a stop to the blatant injustice threatening the elections in the province. Over a thousand supporters attended the rally, and not one policeman came to protect them,” Jalosjos added.
Jalosjos noted that Wednesday’s incident was not the first time that such harassment happened in Zamboanga del Norte.
He claimed that a number of his political party’s local leaders have also been attacked by gunmen during the last few weeks, but the provincial police did not lift a finger.
“When our police is not serious in upholding the law, then election-related violence will thrive and succeed,” Jalosjos said. “It is alarming when political colors stand in the way of protecting lives, especially of our civilians.”