Ex-mayor running for Cebu’s 3rd district gets death threats

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CEBU CITY — A former mayor of the southern town of Pinamungajan who is running for representative of Cebu’s third district claimed she received death threats on Wednesday morning.

Former mayor Geraldine Gaye Yapha reported to the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) after receiving a note in a piece of paper accompanied with two bullets allegedly left at the back of her Toyota Hilux pick-up vehicle.

Yapha showed the note which read “W-draw (withdraw) or die. 2 bullets. 1 for you. 1 for driver”.

She believed the threat to her life has something to do with her running as third district representative.

“I could not think of anything else but politics. Whoever sent me the letter wanted me to withdraw my candidacy, and the election is drawing close,” she said in a video she posted on social media.

The former mayor of Pinamungajan said she discovered the note not in her hometown but in her house in Barangay Labangon, this city. Pinamungajan is 68 kilometers south of this city.

Aside from Yapha, two others are aspiring for the congressional seat for the province’s third district in the May 13 midterm elections — lawyer Pablo John Garcia and former senator, now Toledo City Mayor John Henry Osmeña.

Pablo John is the brother of former Cebu governor, now incumbent Third District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia. He challenged then governor Hilario Davide III in the 2016 gubernatorial elections but lost.

She said one of her opponents wanted her to withdraw in exchange for money, but she refused to do so. She did not name the opponent she was referring to.

Yapha said her driver Rex Zamora was the first one to find the folded piece of paper at the back of her vehicle.

She said they thought it was money but they were surprised upon seeing the bullet as well as the note written on the paper.

“Election period man so it’s the Comelec that should decide. Manghinaot ta hatagan sa Comelec og gibug-aton atong nahitabo karon (Since it’s election period, the Comelec should decide. I hope the Comelec gives weight to the incident involving myself),” Yapha said, adding that the provincial police wanted to have it blottered with the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

According to the former mayor who is also a licensed physician, she does not want to take the incident lightly and wants the police to investigate it.

Yapha has no bodyguard. She is running for Cebu’s third congressional district representative in the May 13 elections under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). (PNA)