POZORRUBIO—This town on the northwest side of Pangasinan has been in the news lately, but it’s not the kind of popularity that the mayor wants his municipality to be known for.
“We are becoming known but for a very odd story,” said Mayor Artemio Chan.
The head of the town police, Chief Inspector Satur Ediong, also appealed to residents of Barangay Villegas “to stop for heaven’s sake the aswang scare”.
Both Chan and Ediong said the town is becoming a laughing stock for taking so seriously reports that an aswang, a vampire-like mythical creature in Philippine folklore, haunts the barangay.
Some barangay folks have been going out at night armed with long sharp-pointed bamboo sticks to fight off the rumored aswang supposedly roaming around the community from 10:00 p.m. until midnight in search of victims.
In response to reports and to assuage the people’s anxiety, policemen have been sent to patrol the area.
Meanwhile, a group of 50 bike-riding men led by the mayor’s son have been going around the barangay nightly to calm down residents.
Ediong said some residents even demanded that the police search the houses in the community where strangers stay, but he declined explaining that to do so would be in violation of human rights of homeowners.
“Imagine the impact of the story on the minds of young kids,” Ediong said.
The weary police chief said he will no longer waste his limited resources and personnel for the barangay’s aswang issue and instead passed on the nightly patrol tasks for it to barangay officials.
A child reportedly saw the aswang and the story was exacerbated by an adult who presented a photo that supposedly shows a vampire-like image.
Ediong said the photo was proven by experts to be digitally enhanced.
“These are all products of wild imaginations. Let’s stop this now please? People outside are laughing at us,” Ediong said.—Eva Visperas