Mayor Edwin Crisologo of Tineg, Abra has scored the denial by the Philippine National Police of police escorts for his counsel, Atty. Estelita Cordero, who represents him in administrative cases filed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Abra.
Crisologo stressed that Cordero needs security due to death threats issued against her by his political enemies, some of whom have pressured the PNP leadership in Region 1 to deny his lawyer escorts from the 103rd Regional Mobile Group.
Cordero said that she only avails herself of escorts whenever she has to travel to Bangued to represent Crisologo.
"The need for security became even more pronounced after Mayor Crisologo's wife Brenda was shot and eventually died last year. The closest political ally of the mayor, Councilor Pedro Enon, was himself slain in Bangued," she clarified.
Cordero appealed to PNP Director General Avelino Razon and Deputy Director General Jesus Versoza to provide her with security and countermand the orders of provincial and regional PNP officers who had been pressured by Crisologo's political foes to strip her of any protection in Abra.
She noted that an Abra mayor had been pressuring PNP officers in both Region 1 and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to deny her request for security.
"This pressure is extraordinary considering that Crisologo is the only mayor who is at odds with a political clan that wants to control all of Abra. They want no opposition at all and they want to control Tineg, now the object of desire by big interests that seek mining and logging concessions. This political clan wants Crisologo out of the picture and the only way to do it is to rid him of his counsel and eventually oust him from office by charging him with a variety of offenses," Cordero explained.
Tineg is the largest town in Abra in terms of territory and enjoys the biggest internal revenue allotment. It has huge potential for mining and other industries even as its population is small.
Cordero said Crisologo has been winning the cases filed against him by his detractors, and this is probably the reason why they want to get rid of me.
On the other hand, Crisologo stressed that he would continue to oppose the reign of terror in Abra and fight for justice, particularly for his wife who was slain by a hired gunman, his uncle, Pedro Enon, who was his closest adviser.
Cordero also slammed the involvement of top PNP officials in CAR for the denial of her request for security at a time when she needs it to ensure that the rights of her client are and respected by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Abra.