CRYING harassment, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Thursday condemned the arrest of its local candidate in Iloilo City.
Rommel Ynion, UNA’s mayoralty candidate in Iloilo City was arrested by elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) coming all the way from Camp Crame in Quezon City for a tax evasion case hurled against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) .
“UNA clearly sees political harassment all over the picture,” the party said in a statement.
UNA stressed that the move was highly irregular citing the timing of the arrest.
The warrant of arrest was served at 9 p.m. of May 1, 2013 while Ynion was in a community meeting with his partymates in Barangay Bitoon in Jaro, Iloilo City.
“It [the arrest]was made in the evening. May 1 is Labor Day and is a legal holiday,” it added.
Besides the timing, UNA also questioned why the arrest was not made by local police officers.
“The arrest was carried out by police elements coming all the way from Crame instead of local police force,”UNA said.
The party viewed the incident as a “genuine product of traditional politics.
“Traditional politicians resort to these kinds of shrewd maneuverings whenever they stare at possible election defeat,” it added.
According to UNA, the people of Jaro witnessed the arrest of Ynion so they surrounded and protected him.
“Such cowardly act by the political opponents of Rommel Ynion has no place in a civilized society, much more in the “matuwid na daan” being espoused by the administration party,” it added.
UNA vowed that it will not allow any politically motivated harassment to happen to its candidates and supporters.
“Let Ynion have his day in court to prove his innocence on the alleged tax evasion case. That issue is better addressed in court not in the campaign trail,” UNA said.
However, incumbent city Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is unfazed by allegations that the arrest of his political foe will backlash at him.
Mabilog said the feigned drama after the arrest of Ynion on Wednesday evening succeeded in bringing Ynion to St. Paul Hospital by seeking medical attention for reported high blood pressure.
“In the first place, there is no need for me to harass him since I am already winning overwhelmingly. The information against him was filed at the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Manila in 2007 by his own barker. The policemen that arrested him with valid warrants of arrest are from Camp Crame in Metro Manila. He also did not file the bail bonds upon knowing of the impending warrants since last month,” Mabilog said.
“It is all a drama by feigning high blood pressure so that he could not be brought before the court judge,” Mabilog added.
Section 6 of Rule 113 of the Supreme Court Rules of Court stipulates that “an arrest may be made on any day and at any time of the day or night.” Lawyers of Ynion claimed that the arrest of Ynion was made in the evening of May 1, a holiday with no court or judge to grant his bail bond.
Associate Judge Lovell Bautista of the Court of Tax Appeals Third Division in Quezon City penned the Warrant of Arrest for Criminal Case 315; Presiding Judge Roman del Rosario of the Court of Tax Appeals First Division issued the warrants on Criminal Case 316 and Criminal Case 317, all for violation of Section 254 “Attempt to Evade/Defeat Tax of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997,” as amended.
Ritchie A. Horario And Lydia C. Pendon