Mother links mayor, aides to son’s murder in Zamboanga del Norte
Apr 22, 2022
The killing raises concerns that the cycle of election violence may have already started in Zamboanga del Norte
ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, Philippines – Less than three weeks before elections, the political rivalry in Zamboanga del Norte is getting intense with groups engaging in mudslinging, tearing of posters, and resorting to intimidation. But on Thursday, April 21, a mother accused an incumbent town mayor and two others of being behind the killing of her son for supporting a political opponent. Police identified the victim as 40-year-old Noel P. Padrillan, a bodyguard of Adelmo Laput, who is challenging the reelection bid of Mutia town Mayor Lorrymir Adasa. Padrillan’s mother Angelina blamed Mayor Adasa’s group for her son’s murder. “Nangita ko’g hustisya para sa akong anak,” said Angelina who broke into tears. (I’m seeking justice for my son.) The grieving mother added, “Mayor (Adasa), isog man kaha mo, atubanga ang inyong gibuhat.” (Mayor, if you are fearless, face the consequence of what you have done.) CALL FOR JUSTICE. Angelina Padrillan taks to reporters about her son Noel’s murder, and blames the mayor of a Zamboanga del Norte town for it. Bert Laput/Rappler
Based on a police blotter, Padrillan was with a companion identified as Joel Melancio out to buy tuba (coconut wine) at a store in Barangay Diland, Mutia, late in the afternoon on April 19. In the same police blotter, Melancio claimed that Adasa and his aides subsequently came in a white Toyota Hi-Lux pick-up truck and confronted Padrillan who used to be his bodyguard. Melancio alleged that after a short heated argument with Padrillan, one of Adasa’s companions drew out a caliber .45 pistol and shot the victim several times. Rappler went to the Mutia municipal hall to seek Adasa’s side, but was told that the mayor was on leave for a medical check-up in Cagayan de Oro City. Angelina said the father of six had sent a text message to his wife in Dubai a week earlier, claiming that he was under threat and that if anything bad happened to him, his family should seek answers from Adasa and a police officer. The victim used to serve as Adasa’s bodyguard but shifted his support to Laput, a former priest. Zamboanga del Norte’s worsening political rivalry has traditionally been between the powerful families of Governor Roberto Uy and former Zamboanga del Norte representative Romeo “Nonong” Jalosjos Sr.
Adasa is seeking reelection under Uy’s group while Laput is a staunch supporter of the Jalosjoses. Even months before the local campaign period started, supporters of the Uy and Jalosjos families were already engaged in mudslinging and were trying to outmaneuver each other politically. With the killing of Padrillan, observers said they were worried that the cycle of violence may have already started in Zamboanga del Norte. A local newscaster and commentator, Ryan Uy, said he had received death threats from a group that accused him of being biased against the group of the Uy family. Dipolog mayoral candidate Rommel Jalosjos, one of the sons of Romeo Sr., has also threatened to press charges against a supporter of Mayor Darel Dexter Uy, son of Governor Uy, for tearing down his campaign poster. – Rappler.com
Disclosure: The author, who is based in Dapitan City, is related to both candidates, Laput and Adas. Recommended Stories