GUN BAN VIOLATORS. Twelve village watchmen at Jaboyo village, Lambunao town, Iloilo are caught carrying firearms and staging checkpoint in front of the Joboyo's village hall a night before the Monday elections (May 12, 2019). The Commission on Elections gun ban violators are currently held at Lambunao Municipal Police Station, Maj. Rene Obregon, Lambunao police chief said. (Photo courtesy of Iloilo Police Provincial Office)
ILOILO CITY -- Twelve village watchmen were caught violating the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban and for conducting unauthorized checkpoint in Jayobo village, Lambunao town, Iloilo.
Maj. Rene Obregon, Lambunao police chief, said the village watchmen were caught in front of Jayobo’s village hall a few minutes before Monday’s elections.
Upon receiving the report, Lambunao Municipal Police Station, in coordination with the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) Special Operating Group, headed to the area.
Two of the village watchmen even attempted to check the vehicle of the security forces, Obregon said.
“But they ran and tried to hid at the basketball court when they saw that it was the police they were checking,” he said.
Arrested were Remegio Libuna, 49; Jose Lavete; 62; Jobert Cabolico; 53; Johnny Lebuna Jr., 34; Elmer Legarde, 43; Bernabe Larroza, 35; Sunny Boy Latoza, 49; Ernesto Legarde, 56; Carlos Esmaya, 64; Ernesto Lastimoso, 58; Federico Compliza, 48; and Johnny Lebuna, 34.
Police confiscated six shotguns; three .45-caliber pistols; two .38-caliber revolvers; one .22-caliber revolver; and one knife, said Cpl. Edward Lesondra, chief investigator, in a phone interview.
Lesondra said that the firearms were personally-owned by the suspects “because they say they use it for self-defense and protection.”
Based on the information gathered by the police, the watchmen had also staged checkpoints in the area prior to the night of their arrest.
The police are currently on search for Milky Lira, the Jayobo village chief, who fled after the incident.
The gun ban violators are now under the custody of Lambunao Municipal Police Station.
They will face charges for violation of the Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act. (PNA)