Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Frederick Seth Jalosjos has denounced what he described as assassination plot against him by unidentified gunmen during a political rally in La Libertad town in the province Tuesday.
Jalosjos, who is seeking reelection, also slammed the police’s inaction on the incident.
Jalosjos, son of convicted rapist and former congressman Romeo Jalosjos, said he was approaching the podium at the rally of the Alliance of Parties for Progress-Naciolanista Party in Barangay Poblacion when the gunmen, some wearing military fatigue uniforms, opened fire.
“[But] during the entire incident, which lasted over 30 minutes, not one policeman came, even as their outpost was only across the street—less than five minutes from where the encounter occurred,” Jalosjos said in a statement issued Wednesday.
“The police arrived after it was over, when the firing had stopped,” he said.
Jalosjos said he was surprised that there were a dozen policemen, including the chief of police, most of them in civilian clothes at the local police station when they filed a blotter report of the incident.
“Clearly, there was no shortage of policemen. They could have easily responded if they wanted to,” he said. “But they opted to simply sit in through the entire incident. It was impossible not to hear the gunshots.”
“It is alarming when political colors stand in the way of protecting lives, especially of our civilians. Over a thousand supporters attended the rally and not one policeman came to protect them,” he added.
Jalosjos said Tuesday’s attack was not the first against his camp and that a number of his leaders and supporters had been harassed in the past weeks but “were not able to obtain any assistance, support, or remedy from the provincial police.”