OLONGAPO CITY – The president of a local government-run college here is in hot water for alleged vote-buying for the camp of Mayor James Bong Gordon, now running for congressman of the 1st district of Zambales, on the eve of election day.
Police authorities detained Arlida Pame of Gordon College (GC) at Olongapo Police Station 3 along R. Magsaysay Drive, after a foiled escape try from the school aboard a gray Toyota Vios car with no plate number.
According to Olongapo Mayoral candidate Rolen Paulino, he was at the Olongapo Tennis Court around 9PM when he noticed a queue at nearby Gordon College extending up to the Elicaño bridge, thus, his suspicion was aroused.
“Umikot ako at kitang-kita ko na namimigay siya ng pera,” Paulino said. “Pumasok ako sa loob pero dahil nag-iisa ako, hindi niya napansin at patuloy pa rin siya sa pamimigay ng pera kasama ang mga polyetos nina Gordon,” he added.
Paulino said he called up the local Comelec office which advised him to call the police, instead.
Before the police arrived, Pame rushed to the car driven by a city traffic enforcer which then sped towards city hall.
Olongapo Policemen at Station 1 beside city hall, however, intercepted the car, and ordered the driver to proceed to Station 3, which has jurisdiction in the area where the alleged vote-buying transpired.
For over an hour at Olongapo PNP Station 3, Pame and his driver refused to get off the car which was cordoned-off from an angry crowd that gathered in front of the police station, including another mayoral candidate Bugsy delos Reyes and vice mayoral bets Brian Gordon and Lugie Lipumano
Pame, who denies the allegation saying she was actually attending to the school’s scholars, later got off the vehicle into the police station, to have herself checked by a doctor.
Paulino said he doesn’t believe Pame’s alibi because it was around 9PM, an unlikely hour to attend to college scholars. “Pati ba naman matatanda scholar rin?” he said.
Comelec officials who arrived at the police station said a search warrant would be necessary to search the car where allegedly the bag of money for the Gordon camp’s vote buying scheme are still being kept.
As tensions were running high, police and comelec officials agreed to guarantee that the car will be closely watched and cordoned in front of the police station until such time when a search warrant has been been obtained from the proper court.
Earlier, several reports have tagged (Bong) Gordon’s camp of massive vote-buying, particularly being perpetrated at Castillejos, Zambales, Alta-Vista at Bgy. Baretto and the Olongapo City Convention Center, after failing to get the endorsement of the Iglesia ni Cristo or INC. (VVV)