Police arrest, file charges vs 7 persons for violation of COMELEC gun ban

DUMAGUETE CITY, (PNA) -– The Philippine National Police in Negros Oriental arrested seven people as of last count for violation of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) ban against the carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons during the barangay election period.

OIC provincial police director Supt. Alet Virtucio disclosed in a post-election briefing Monday afternoon that seven cases were also already filed against the suspects.

Confiscated on separate incidents from the suspects were four firearms, specifically a .38 caliber revolver, a homemade caliber revolver snub nose, a Frontier revolver and a .357 caliber revolver, three bladed weapons, one hand grenade and one M203 fragmentation grenade.

The arrests and seizures of the prohibited guns and deadly weapons were made on separate occasions and in various parts of the province after the 45-day ban period had started last September 28.

Arrested and charged were Christopher Cordova, Nelson Gaso and Lito Calimbugar in Tanjay City; Rudy Gustilo in Dumaguete City; Estilito Cañete in Amlan, Juan delos Santos Butalid in Guihulngan City; and Bonifacio Tamayo in Canlaon City.

Virtucio said the police chief have been ordered to conduct daily checkpoints, one at daytime and one in the evening, during the election period.

So far, except for one election-related violent incident involving the attack on a policemen during Monday’s polls in Jimalalud town, the barangay elections in Negros Oriental was generally peaceful.

Virtucio disclosed that among the incidents reported during election day include the alleged presence of a private armed group in Manipis, Tanjay City.

Upon verification, however, the report turned out to be false.

In Manjuyod town, supporters of the incumbent barangay captain in Campuyo allegedly blocked the way of the voters, but a police team who proceeded to the area reported that the voters were only apprehensive but no blocking had taken place.

In Barangay Sta. Cruz, Tanjay City, the body of one Bonnie Goneda, 36 years old, was found dead on election day.

Initial police investigation showed he sustained hack wounds on different parts of the body but his death was not considered election-related.

An alleged commotion was also reported in a polling center in Pamplona town but it turned out to be negative, said Virtucio.