Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Throwback: Two years ago today - the burning of my house

Leaving Marinduque after the 2013 elections due to threats and harassments, some even aired over a local radio program, fire gutted my house on January 12, 2014, following an intrusion the night before. The Inquirer ran a story about the incident two days later (below).
Philippine Daily Inquirer article, Jan. 14, 2014

SAN PEDRO CITY—The author of an online article that was used to question the eligibility of Regina Ongsiako Reyes as candidate for Marinduque representative started to fear for his safety after losing his house to a fire just days after an intruder barged into his home.

Eliseo Obligacion, a 62-year-old blogger, lost his home, a two-story house by the beach in Barangay (village) Amoingon to a fire on Sunday evening.

Prior to this, an unidentified man barged into his house on Saturday evening, Obligacion said. 

The intruder rushed out without hurting Obligacion’s caretaker and her two granddaughters upon realizing the house was not empty, he said.

Boac fire chief Senior Fire Officer 3 Felix Echaveria, in a phone interview on Tuesday, said a joint investigation by the fire bureau and the local police would determine if the fire that started in Obligacion’s room was deliberate.

Echaveria said the case was complicated given the claims of a prior intrusion.

Obligacion, who owns the blog Marinduque Rising and a former tourism consultant of Reyes’ rival Lord Allan Jay Velasco, said he lived in that house for 22 years but recently moved elsewhere when he felt that Marinduque “has become a very dangerous” place for him to live in.

In January 2013, Obligacion wrote an article titled “Seeking and finding the truth about Regina Reyes,” that presented a database of Reyes’ immigration records as an American citizen and holder of a US passport since 2005.

The blog was used as evidence to support the petition of a certain Joseph Socorro Tan from Torrijos, Marinduque, that paved the way for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cancel Reyes’ candidacy in the May 2013 elections.

Reyes, a daughter of Marinduque Gov. Carmencita Reyes, appealed the Comelec ruling to the Supreme Court and claimed the case was under the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives Election Tribunal (HRET).

Amid the controversy, Reyes, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, was proclaimed by a local Comelec tally body as the winner against Velasco.

She was also recognized as a member of Congress despite a Supreme Court ruling that upheld her disqualification.

In a text message on Tuesday, Reyes denied any hand in the fire and attack on Obligacion.


“It is not in our character and I pray for Mr. Obligacion’s enlightenment,” she said. - Inquirer

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