Board member ready with verdict

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Monday, May 26, 2014

PORAC -- “It will be a decision based on conscience.”

Thus said second district Board Member Mike Tapang on Monday, as he assured that he will have his decision ready on the administrative case filed by LLL Holdings security guard Larry Sabado against barangay captain Antonio Tolentino in the recent scuffle between members of the Nakakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (Aniban) and the security personnel of the holding firm.

Tapang made the assurance after he filed his month-long leave of absence. He had directed the municipal secretary "to read my written decision-sealed and shall only be opened on the verdict day of the jurors."


Tapang said that the past few months of the issue had been tough. He said he was contemplating on his intellectual and emotional judgment in order to be able to yield a proper and rightful decision.

"It cannot be denied that the recent conflict between the LLL Holdings and Aniban groups has caused financial sacrifices, loss of livelihood, emotional burdens and the legal battle between Sabado and Chairman Tolentino and most especially the saddening demise of our cabalens in Hacienda Dolores," he said.

Tapang, who was an entrepreneur before he was elected to public office, said that he is for the development of Porac. He added that progress would mean more jobs and higher appreciation of property values in the town.

"I value investors who show interest and capitalize in our town and it is fair to welcome them. Nevertheless, I cannot sacrifice the degrading morale and the irreplaceable lives of our fellow Poraquenos," Tapang said, adding that he will uphold peace in his decision every way he can.

To recall, a member of the Aniban was reportedly killed late last year in a confrontation with land holding firms’ security personnel.

The Regional Police Information Office said a shooting incident happened at Sitio Balokbok in Barangay Hacienda, Dolores.

A village chief, a security guard of LLL Holdings, and another farmer were also injured. Police identified the victims as Noel Tumali, 40, and Arman Padinio, both Aniban members; and Barangay Captain Antonio Tolentino.

Police said a group of Aniban farmers composed of more or less 30 individuals arrived at the place but were prevented to enter. The said group allegedly refused to comply with the order of the on-duty guard Reygie Tolentino.

The guard then informed his security officer and a few minutes later, members of LLL Holdings security arrived. A commotion ensued between security personnel of LLL Holdings and Aniban members that resulted in the shooting.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 27, 2014.

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