Panabo City Mayor James Gamao would not reply to the allegation hurled by a 40-year-old newswoman in Davao del Norte that his guard in the house and a “responding” policeman harassed her at the gate of the mayor’s house at around 6 a.m. last Sept. 25.
Josephine Velasco, editor of Davao Times based in Asuncion town, took to Facebook on that day and at around 10:15 a.m. she posted that the yet unidentified guard in the mayor’s house located in Gamao Subdivision in the city allegedly pushed her away outside the gate.
“The bodyguard push me away & holding cellphone. I assumed that he is calling a policemen. Then I am right cuz after 15 mins one policeman arrived in mayor’s house then push me away physically in bisaya, ‘gisikaran ko niya ug gitadyagan sabay pabuto sa pusil’ (he kicked me simultaneously shooting his gun into the air) then further saying ‘hawa diri samuk kaayo ka!’ (get out of here you’re troublesome!) then I am shaking saying ‘okay muoli nako’ (okay I’ll go home),” Velasco alleged.
She also alleged that cops incharge to the blotter at that day refused to have the incident put in blotter.
This reporter tried to approach the mayor Monday morning standing near the door leading to the his office in the City Hall and called him about Velasco’s allegation, but he waved his hand saying he did not want to reply on the issue. He immediately went inside his office, apparently stonewalling the newswoman’s issue.
His longtime staffer Mel-Jun Badal said that he also learned that the mayor “appears not keen on entertaining the issue” although he said he (Badal) really did not know about the details of Velasco’s experience even as he said he also read her Facebook posts on the matter.
On her Facebook’s first post last Sept. 25, Velasco said that she arrived at the mayor’s house at around 6:00 a.m. that day purposely to seek help from the mayor.
At the gate, she said she called for anybody in the house and a “fat guy with fair complexion” told her that the mayor was still asleep.
Valasco said she then asked the man to allow her to wait at the porch of the mayor’s house until the mayor wakes up.
Then the man, she continued in her post, that “the guy rudely answered to me to wait outside.”
Velasco answered that the guy was just brave enough, one whom she first encountered.
Then the guy shouted “you’re no longer right”, Velasco said, adding that the man also made a sign language pointing to his head to suggest she is crazy.
She said that after a while Mayor Gamao appeared and he called her saying, “Pssst Josephine tama na then he give me money then I replied dili ko mudawat ana (I’ll not accept that) but he insisted (then) I finally accepted that bullshit money,” Velasco posted.
After that, that incident of pushing, kicking her and a cop’s gun shooting into the air followed.
Velasco did not say where the mayor was when that the alleged kicking and gun shooting occurred.
In an earlier interview, Velasco said that the gun was shot once just near his ear.
She said that after the gun blast, some neighbors of the mayor came out to know the situation.
She said she then tried to have the incident put in police blotter after but some cops, she alleged, did not want it blottered.
On Sept. 28, 2017, she posted addressed to Davao del Norte PNP provincial director: “Kindly arrest the 3 bodyguards of Panabo City Mayor Hon. Engr. James G. Gamao who happened to be a policemen! They are so arrogant & unbecoming attitude towards me. They deserved to be sanctioned.’Gipabuthan ko nila ug gi-threat nga kung dili ka muoli basi dire lang ka taman!’ (They threatened me with a gun blast and warning that if I won’t go home I would then be end there). During that incident happened last Monday. I went to Panabo City Police Station to blottter that bad experience but they refuse me to do so ‘wala ko gipasulod’ (they did not allow me to enter). That was very traumatic & the most painful experience to me in my whole life.”
In separate interview, her father publisher Ped Velasco vowed to seek help from authorities to help her daughter. Friends advised him to ask help from President Duterte as her daughter continues to seek justice for more than two weeks now.
Over the last weekend the young Velasco showed on Facebook she was confined in Kapalong District Hospital due to “health complications” but as of Tuesday dawn she said she was already back to normal, and posted: “OMG. I am an early riser. I wake up everyday @3am. So many things to do so little time.#Preoccupied”
As of Tuesday noon, Velasco’s posts relating the incident have not yet been taken out.
Mindanao Sun Chronicle online has already taken screenshots on Velasco’s incident posts on her Facebook. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)