MARCOS, Ilocos Norte, Aug. 13– DILG-installed “Mayor” Arsenio Agustin and rival”Mayor” Salvador Pillos engaged in fierce shouting bout inside the municipal hall building here at about 11 o’clock this morning causing a brief tension, report said.
Witnesses said a heated argument sparked the shouting bout when Agustin’s men allegedly tried to close entry to the mayor’s office with ply boards. As Pillos and his men blocked them, Agustin went to check the problem. At this juncture, the two had an encounter and the shouting bout ensued.
The two protagonists Pillos and Agustin stood at very close distance apart and yelled at one another as they traded unsavory words over who is the legitimate mayor to run the municipal government of Marcos town pending the final decision by the Supreme Court on their controversial case, witnesses added.
“The two were furious. Thanks God, both leaders did not engage in fistfight,” witnesses told the Sentinel. It was learned that Pillos and Agustin were bossom friends during their school days but politics broke their friendship.
For about 15 minutes, the two exchanged heated words as supporters of both camps stood behind them as if waiting for any worst scenario.
Seen at the middle side of the quarreling mayors, witnesses said, were uniformed policemen led by chief of police, C/I Dexter Corpuz. About 20 cops including SWAT and augmentation troops were deployed in the area to maintain peace and order.
Major Corpuz told reporters that their role during that tense moments was to intervene and pacify the quarreling protagonists and their supporters in case violence erupted in line with the instruction of his superior OIC police provincial director S/S Gerardo Ratuita.
Later, people at the scene heaved a sigh of relief when both leaders ended their verbal clash. Agustin withdrew and returned to his temporary office at the accounting department on the ground floor.
On the other hand, Pillos remained at the mayor’s office on the second floor where he reportedly stays, eats and sleeps there since July 1, 2013, the first day of formal assumption of office by all officials elected last May 13 midyear election.#