BAGUIO CITY– A visiting sound system operator recently accused Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong and Lower Lourdes Subdivision punong barangay Florante Sapitula for alleged slight physical injuries, oral defamation and threat following an altercation in a political gathering at the Upper Quezon Hill barangay hall Thursday night.
Based on Police Blotter Entry No. 2022-050549 which was recorded at the Baguio Police Office (BCPO) Station No. 1., Paulo dela Cruz, 45, married, a resident of Navarrete, San Fabian, Pangasinan and owner of Power Base House Entertainment Production, narrated that at around 11 pm of May 5, 2022, after the completion of the rally of Team Domogan in the said area, the sound system that was used for the said activity was reportedly shut off and the operators of the same already packed up.
He disclosed that Leandro B. Yangot, Jr., a member of Team Domogan who is seeking a seat at the city council, arrived late that is why he was forced to deliver his message to the crowd that was gathered even without the use of the sound system which was already dis-assembled.
At the said juncture, the Team of Mayor Magalong suddenly appeared and wanted to continue with the gathering using the same sound system that was commissioned and used by Team Domogan but the same was not already possible because it was shut off and subsequently dis-assembled.
However, dela Cruz claimed that suddenly, a tall male individual wearing a black leather jacket who was later identified as punong barangay Sapitula reportedly approached him and angrily pointed his forefinger and uttered “Bakit niyo pinatayan ng sound system si mayor, di pa tapos magsalita si mayor.” The victim then replied “Di ba tapos ng magsalita si mayor?” (victim referring to ex-mayor Domogan”.
Sapitula allegedly replied “Hindi pa.” (referring to incumbent Mayor Magalong) and continued to berate and allegedly even tried to punch the sound system operator.
Dela Cruz reportedly asked Sapitula on why was he getting mad at himm when he did not even know him personally as he was simply a commissioned sound system provider for Team Domogan and not for any other candidate or political party for that matter.
After some 5 minutes, a group of individuals led by Mayor Magalong suddenly went near them and subsequently confronted dela Cruz where an altercation suddenly ensued as evidenced by the video that has gone viral in social media.
Further, the victim averred that an unidentified male person who happened to be Magalong’s bodyguard intentionally showed hiss short firearm to him and attempted to draw the same that was on his waist and suddenly punched his stomach for no apparent reasons.
Reliable sources revealed that the scheduled gathering of Team Domogan in the said area was supposedly from 3-5 pm but the same was delayed that caused its extension up to around 7 pm.
Ironically, members of Team Magalong allegedly started to arrive and join the said gathering that was purposely organized for Team Domogan that is why it was the latter’s group that provided and paid for the use of the sound system.
The certified police blotter was issued to Mr. dela Cruz by the BCPO for whatever legal intents and purposes it may serve in the future.
For his part, the mayor claimed that he was simply invited to attend the anniversary of Upper Quezon Hill barangay and upon arrival in the area, there was no more sound system that was operational but he was able to deliver his message without such.
With regards the commotion that transpired between his ground and the sound system provider of Team Domogan, he stipulated that he was simply pacifying the altercation.
On the other hand, concerned residents questioned the conduct of the aforesaid gathering that went beyond the 10 pm curfew imposed by the city’s Silent Night ordinance and that as the city’s supposed leader, Magalong should have voluntarily ordered the shortening of the program to conform with the said ordinance if he was really a true leader.
Moreover, the residents also questioned the presence of Sapitula in another barangay outside his jurisdiction and in the company of Magalong which might be in gross violation of existing election regulations stating that barangay officials must be non-partisan, thus, the interior and local government must conduct an investigation on the said incident.