A member of the political clan of Romualdos in Camiguin has confirmed the harassment made by his family against the supporters of presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte during a campaign sortie in their island province Wednesday, March 23.
Noordin Efigenio Romualdo, brother of Gov. Jurdin Jesus, said in an interview that his brother purposely cut off the power supply in the grandstand where Duterte was supposed to speak before his supporters.
He said that his family also conducted medical missions in five towns of the province to prevent the people from going to Mambajao to attend the rally of Duterte.
The political harassment however failed after 3,000-5,000 Camiguiños flocked to the Duterte rally in Mambajao upon the arrival of the mayor around two in the afternoon.
In his speech, Duterte blasted the ruling family in Camiguin Province, saying their “feudal” rule over the island has hampered its development and impoverished the people.
Duterte said the Romualdo clan have lorded it over Camiguin for too long.
“And you know when that happens, the feudal lords begin to think they own the place and the people,” he said.
He said even his rally was subjected to the kind of “warlordism” that has plagued the province.
“Baho na nga style (That style stinks),” he said.
Despite the threats and harassment which prevented residents from converging at the Plaza until Duterte arrived in the island, the crowd eventually gathered at makeshift stage hastily built by organizers.
The Duterte camp was earlier denied permit to use the town plaza stage.
When news broke that the local government refused to give rally permit, Duterte national campaign manager Mayor Leoncio Evasco of Maribojc, Bohol said the rally must go on as scheduled no matter what.
Organizers also bewailed underhanded tactics reportedly employed by the Romualdos who reportedly ordered the provider of the sound system to cancel its booking for the Duterte rally.
The organizers had to rent a sound system from across the island in Cagayan de Oro City.
During the rally, which started only when the Davao City mayor arrived, Duterte reminded the Romualdos that political rallies are protected by the Constitution and that they could get in trouble for trying to stop yesterday’s rally.
“The people need to hear the candidates so that they can make the right choice,” he said.
Duterte said he himself does not require a permit for any rally in Davao City and that the organizers only need to tell the police where it would be held.
Duterte also hit the Romualdos for their politics of convenience, saying they have been changing parties through the years depending on who is in power.
Baby Romualdo is running for governor of Camiguin. She is the wife of JJ Romualdo who is the mayor of Mambajao.
Seeking re-election for the lone district of Camiguin is Rep. XJ Romualdo, brother of JJ.
XJ replaced his then re-electionist father who died in April 2013.
Another Romualdo, Dan-Dan is running as provincial board member.
The Romualdos are members of the Liberal Party although sources said they are supporting presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe. The presidential bet of the Liberal party is Mar Roxas.
The Romualdos have virtually built a dynasty in Camiguin over the last 2 decades.
Duterte urged residents in Camiguin to bring down the Romualdos from power.
He said the time has come for the people to reject feudalism and embrace real change.
It was learned that it is the first time for Camiguin to be visited by a presidential candidate.
Camiguin has only about 58,000 registered voters.