BBM receives an apology from an ex-NegOcc guv for the heckling event.
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Former governor of Negros Occidental, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., was heckled by a group of Vice President Leni Robredo’s supporters during a caravan traveling through Talisay City on Wednesday afternoon.
Rafael Coscolluela, convenor of Negros for Leni-Kiko, wrote on Facebook on Friday that they “we not condone such behavior, nor will we allow the same from among our ranks.”
“I apologize to Mr. Marcos and his supporters for the heckling, and I urge everyone to stop from similar behavior throughout the campaign,” he said.
A video circulating on social media shows Marcos getting pelted with Robredo-Pangilinan campaign fliers as he prepares to wave to Talisay City residents by the roadside.
As seen in the video, the pamphlets appeared to have come from a mob yelling anti-Marcos slogans and brandishing Leni-Kiko flags.
Following the incident, a Facebook user identified “Rachel Antoinette” said that the group was “exercising their rights” when Marcos’ bodyguards allegedly shoved them to the side.
She called it an “act of violence” because “one of the dissenters’ leaflets flew towards BBM and hit him in the face.”
“I believe he is deserving,” she added.
Coscolluela said he learned of the incident on Thursday afternoon, and while he wanted to conduct a thorough investigation, his busy schedule prohibited him from contacting all of the people who were either involved or witnesses.
He went on to say that the heckling was “not premeditated,” and that they would never have let it happen if their permission had been requested.
“I’d like to state that the Robredo People’s Council-Negros Occidentales has continuously urged our volunteers to conduct themselves properly during the campaign,” he stated.
“Political passions can run high and result in aggressive behaviors – albeit done while expressing one’s right to free speech – that is cruel, unpleasant, or uncalled for,” Coscolluela added.
“I convey my sincere sadness for what happened in this light, even as I recognize the thoughts that inspired such emotions,” he continued.
Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares III said the incident is being investigated in a statement issued Thursday night.
While they ensured the caravan ran smoothly, he remarked that the actions of those who attended the caravan were beyond their control.
“The City of Talisay will not allow such conduct and assures you that all appropriate actions will be taken following a thorough investigation.” He went on to remark, “Our fellow Negrenses know that Talisaynons are generally peace-loving people.”
Both political candidates and voters can rest certain that Lizares’ administration “pays appropriate respect to the growth of a free marketplace of ideas.”
“We shall never tire of urging our Talisaynons to treat each other with respect and kindness.” “We warn all Talisaynons once again to use caution in exercising our rights,” the mayor stated.
On its Facebook page, the Negros for BBM republished Lizares’ message, stating they “appreciate the action that was done, but what we desire to hear is a public apology from the person/s involved.”
“Until we see how the issue has been officially addressed, these are just words,” the organization added.
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