BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Tongues are wagging and speculations are flying over an incident that pitted members of the ruling Grupo Progreso and the challenger Team Asenso after a debate of congressional candidates here yesterday, 22 March 2022.
Lawyer Caesar Distrito, vice mayoral candidate of Team Asenso, told DNX he will be filing charges against some of those involved who are government employees for taking part in what he called as “partisan political activity.”
Distrito, however, said the incident that looked like a scuffle on video, started when Andre Familiaran, son of sitting Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, went to the designated area for Team Asenso.
He said Familiaran, who he did not recognize at first, shouted behind him, asking about the case he (Distrito) was supposed to file against him (Familiaran).
The online altercation between Familiaran and Distrito, former allies under GP, stemmed from the vice presidential debate more than a week ago during which, Familiaran claimed, Distrito dragged him into the debate by raising issues over his mother’s, Portia, appointment as a regular employee of the city’s General Services Office, and his becoming assistant head of the same office.
Familiaran, however, told DNX he had no intent to provoke anyone as he pointed out that he was outnumbered and would have been disadvantaged.
He added he only wanted to greet and shake hands with Asenso members as is wont to usually happen after debates.
“That is an unbelievable spin,” he said.
Distrito said he will file not only one case against those involved but declined to give details.
“I will not telegraph (sic) my punches,” he said.