MEDINA, Misamis Oriental — The local police in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental are readying charges of grave threats, robbery and illegal possession of firearms and live ammunitions in relation to Comelec gun ban against five suspected armed individuals who reportedly harrassed at gunpoint and manhandled bystanders at Purok 2 in Brgy. Looc around 11 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, the eve prior to election day.
Police Major Dennis G. Cerilla, Villanueva Police Station Commander, said four of the suspects now detained at the station were active members of Philippine military.
He identified the soldiers based on their military IDs as Cpl. Joel Cabahug, 34, a resident of Bal-ason, Gingoog City, Pvt. Reyboden Hilogon, 32, from Brgy. Lingangao, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, Cpl. Clint Sumaya, 32, of Brgy. 18, Gingoog City, and retired TSG Aladino Layam, 53, from Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City. The civilian who was also apprehended with them was identified as John Carlo Solde, 25, from Linabo, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
The police report said the suspects reportedly disembarked from a red Toyota Rush bearing Plate # -4142 and swooped down a group of civilians along the highway and identified themselves as members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). Without any provocation, the suspects drew their guns and ordered the civilians to drop on the ground and took some of their belongings.
According to Cerilla a composite team of Villanueva police and the province’s CIDG immediaterly reponded to the police assistance and arrested the suspects who were still in the vicinity. Confiscated from them military-issued firearms with live ammunitions and bundles of P500, P100 and P50-bills.
It is not yet clear as to the motive of the harrassment as the suspects refused to respond to media queries.
Cases will be filed pending the result of our investigation, Cerilla said.
Incumbent Villanueva Mayor Jenny Uy-Mendez has called on all quarters to help ensure that the ongoing elections are peaceful and orderly.
“We are all stakesholders of peace and order and any attempt to disrupt this electoral process with the use of violence is highly condemned,” said the reelectionist mayor.