BACOLOD City – Mayor-elect Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo of Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental has expressed her gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for ensuring safe and orderly May 13 elections in her hometown.
“We really thank Tatay Digong because of his assurance for the safety of the voters, the people went out to vote,” said Garcia-Yulo during an oath taking ceremony at the office of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. on Thursday.
Duterte visited Moises Padilla on May 8, two days after it was placed under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) due to poll-related violence, which claimed the lives of two members of Garcia-Yulo’s family.
She accused outgoing Mayor Magdaleno Peña of masterminding the twin slay, an allegation denied by the top town official, who is a cousin of her father, the late mayor Jose Garcia.
Garcia-Yulo garnered 13,056 votes to defeat Peña, who obtained only 5,493 votes.
She said the residents of Moises Padilla achieved the freedom they longed for when they were able to exercise their right to vote during the May 13 mid-term elections.
“This is the most painful and the most costly election for us. If Marc and Michael did not sacrifice their lives for us maybe I won’t be here now,” the mayor-elect said.
During Duterte’s visit, he met separately with Peña and Garcia-Yulo before presiding at a security meeting with officials of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army in Western Visayas at Moises Padilla Elementary School.
Garcia-Yulo also acknowledged the assistance of Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and vice governor-elect Jeffrey Ferrer to their family.
“Both of them responded immediately to help us,” she added. (With a report from PNA/PN)