INCIDENT: HARASSMENT OF ANTI-MINING RALLY
PLACE OF INCIDENT: ST. ANTHONY’S ACADEMY, GONZAGA, CAGAYAN
DATE OF INCIDENT: 7 AM, APRIL 29, 2011
PERPETRATORS: MAYOR CARLITO PENTECOSTES JR., HIS ARMED BODYGUARDS AND PNP PERSONNEL
The Mayor of Gonzaga, Cagayan together with more than one hundred PNP operatives coming from the provincial command and the towns of Sta. Ana, Buguey, Sta. Teresita and Camalaniugan, Cagayan trooped inside the compound of St. Anthony Academy of Gonzaga last April 29, 2011 at around 7:00 AM to stop the planned assembly of the people of the town against the existing mining activity in the area.
According to Ms. Rochell S. Garma, the cashier and registrar of the said school, she saw the policemen around the periphery and even on the school ground. She also saw Mayor Carlito F. Pentecostes Jr. scolding Mrs. Adelaida Sotoza with Ms. Marge Pamintuan, a representative of Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment and other people in front of him. Ms. Garma added that she heard the Mayor angrily utter “Punyeta kayo, nanggugulo kayo” (Bullshit, you are creating trouble) addressing his words to the people. The incident prompted Ms. Garma to take a photo of the Mayor.
One of the Mayor’s bodyguards upon seeing Ms. Garma taking photos of the angry Mayor, immediately grab the camera and gave it to the Mayor. The angry mayor upon receiving the camera immediately threw it the ground which broke the camera.
Mr. David Sueto, one of the participants of the aborted assembly narrated that he was standing and talking to somebody on his cell phone in front of the registrar’s office when the Mayor arrived. The Mayor upon reaching his position asked him what he was doing there. According to him he stopped talking on the phone when he heard the Mayor but the mayor slapped him and his cell phone fell to the ground. After slapping him the mayor asked him to leave the area.
Another participant, Mr. Romeo Gayudan, was slapped on the face by one of the mayor’s bodyguards. He narrated that the he heard the mayor asked his bodyguards to bring him to the mayor. While they were walking towards the mayor one of the bodyguards punched him. Gayudan added that he was not able to recognize who hit him because it came from his back.
A few minutes after Sr. Myrna P. Fetalvero of the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters (FAS) and the head of the said school arrived. She talked to the mayor and that prompted the mayor to have a dialogue with them. The Mayor and Sr. Myrna together with other people went inside the SAAG function room to talk.
After the dialogue the mayor apologized to some people. The Mayor left the school at around 12 noon but many policemen stayed behind.
As a result of the harassment, the planned rally was aborted.