BY INDAY ESPINA VARONA
A Facebook user threatened Vice President Leni Robredo on the eve of her Friday, March 11, grand rally in Bacolod City that has sparked anger and a police investigation.
Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, on learning of the threat, warned supporters of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against issuing any threat or doing any harmful act against Robredo and her followers.
“Hurling threats is a crime, period,” Ferrer, a Marcos supporter, said.
“Ako guid ang inyo kontra (I will be your enemy)…that is not a joke,” the vice governor said.
The Facebook user, who uses the name Balbal Binalbagan Shout-out, posted Thursday night, March 10, that he is ready to avenge the offense against Marcos Jr., referencing to his being heckled in Talisay City during his visit to Negros on February 23.
Netizens have traced the owner of the threatening post to a young man who operates other similar accounts.
Balbal Binalbagan Shout-out followed up with another post that asked if fellow Marcos supporters were ready with our materials for Leni, using the Ilonggo language.
Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez in a statement said: “While she and her family have received threats before, we are concerned that in the context of the heightened passions of the electoral campaign, that this might be an escalation.”
“VP Leni’s security team, as well as the campaign, are taking this seriously and are implementing appropriate measures to ensure her continued safety, and that of her family, staff and supporters,” he added.
Police in Negros Occidental have been informed of the threat.
In a briefing of volunteers on Wednesday, March 9, the security head of the organizers said over 170 police officers have been deployed by the provincial and city police offices. The number does not include plainclothes cops assigned by the province, organizers said.
Ferrer said he and Governor Eugenio “Bong” Lacson, who is a supporter of Robredo, had gone out of their way to ask Negrenses to keep political campaigns civil and peaceful in the province.*