Some residents of Panagatan Island, a marine sanctuary located in Caluya, Antique have asked the local government to investigate alleged intimidations from the owners of the island this election season.
Prescel De San Jose, Panagatan Island councilor said they have been receiving threats to vote for certain candidates or risk being evicted from the island.
"This form of intimidation cannot continue everytime there is elections," she said
Some of these residents who have lived in the island for past decades, grouped together and submitted their position paper as early as 2016 claiming that they have been threatened since.
The Pag-iisa at Pagtataguyod ng Kasarinlan ng Tambalang Planters saPanagatan, lodged their petition to the Department of Interior and Local Government of Caluya, Antique regarding their experiences.
The group, whose main livelihood are seaweed farming, claimed that they were forced to pay “rent” to the owners of the island despite the fact that the island is a marine protected turtle sanctuary as declared by the former Ministry of Natural Resources.
The group said they are paying rent because of fear of what the owners will do to them.
They voiced out further allegations about paying the rent late and how do the owners react on it.
The Commission on Elections also have to issue a statement or an inquiry on the islands regarding this issue.