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Bohol gubernatorial bet ‘waited’ for his ‘execution’

Gubernatorial candidate Leoncio Evasco, Jr. smiles as his running mate, Board Member Thomas Abapo holds the end of the rope that is tied around his neck. The mock execution was done to poke fun at the threat of Provincial Administrator AE Damalerio who threatened to hang him on a flagpole in Maribojoc town, Bohol if he failed to present evidence that he was a drug protector. Photo courtesy of Allen Doydora

MARIBOJOC, Bohol — Former Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. “waited” for his “execution” here after a provincial high ranking official threatened to hang him on a flagpole on Thursday.

But Evasco, who was running for governor in May, was left hanging since provincial administrator Ae Damalerio didn’t arrive.

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Instead, Board Member Thomas Abapo, his running mate in the election, put a rope around the neck of Evasco to make fun of Damalerio’s threat while his supporters laughed.

The controversy started when Evasco accused Damalerio and Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto of protecting illegal drugs trade in Bohol.

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Evasco was in Hong Kong to attend a gathering of the Boholano community when he revealed the drug proliferation in Bohol and the alleged inclusion of some provincial officials in President Duterte’s drug matrix.

Damalerio denied the allegation, calling it “political propaganda with hot air that has no proof nor basis.”

He dared Evasco to present his evidence on Feb. 28.

Damalerio said he would hang Evasco in the flagpole in front of Maribojoc town hall if he failed to present his proof.

Evasco showed up at the Maribojoc gymnasium on Thursday morning to wait for Damalerio to hang him.

With the former Maribojoc mayor were at least 2,000 supporters who were members of Alyansang Bol-anon Alang sa Kausaban (Abaka).

When Damalerio didn’t arrive, Evasco did a ceremonial hanging by tying a rope around his neck.

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He also released a short video where he thanked his supporters for giving him a chance to say goodbye since he was ready to die.

“Nahuman na ako sa akong tulubagon isip amahan sa akong mga anak. Wala nakoy tulubagon sa Ginoo kay akong kinabuhi nahatag na sa mga tawo, (I have completed my obligation as a father to my children. I don’t have obligation to God because I had given my life to the people)” he said in his “farewell” video.

“Andam ako magpakamatay nga akong paabuton gikan ni Ae Damalerio (I am ready to die from the hands of Ae Damalerio),” he added.

He even asked his fellow Boholanos to “pray for his soul.”

But the “execution” didn’t happen. Evasco was also not able to produce his evidence against the provincial administrator.

When reached for comment, Damalerio said Evasco’s actuation proved that he had no evidence against him and the governor.

He stressed that the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency had cleared him of any involvement with illegal drugs.

“My statement was very clear, if he failed to produce evidence, then it only means he capitalized on it, to translate (it) into political propaganda,” Damalerio said a text message to the Inquirer.

Evasco is running for governor against Bohol 3rd district Rep. Arthur Yap, who is supported by Chatto.

“Let’s not focus on the hanging being clearly only creating a statement about demanding proof. Let’s focus on Evasco’s propensity to lie and malign critics crossing his way,” Damalerio added./lzb

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