By: Bennie A. Recebido
SORSOGON CITY, May 20 (PIA) – The overwhelming deployment of government troops in the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate resulted to favorable secured provisions in the area making it generally peaceful. This was the over-all assessment of the 903rd Brigade of the May 13, 2013 polls having no reports of election violence.
903rd Brigade Spokesperson Capt. Mardjorie Paimela P. Panesa said the Brigade under the supervision of Colonel Joselito E Kakilala sent over a thousand of soldiers in his area of operations to ensure safe elections.
The soldiers in full-election duty composed the Task Unit “Rodeo” led by Colonel Samuel Felipe in Masbate with two sub-units: Task Sub-unit “Samaritan” of the 9th Infantry Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Julian Pacatan and Task Sub-unit “Steadfast” of the 80th Infantry Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Ted Dumosmog; while the Task Sub-unit “Charge” of the 31st Infantry Battalion covers Sorsogon. The Task Group Bicol of the 9th Infantry Division also sent teams to the two provinces for monitoring of election situation.
“Though there were some election-related incidents and violations noted a day before election, our men together with other security officers did it well to apprehend negative elements even before they can do evil deeds that may affect the peaceful conduct of elections,” said Panesa.
Brigade’s report said that eight apprehensions were reported prior to Election Day. On May 12, 2013, at about 5:30 am, joint elements of Regional Intelligence Division (RID) led by PSInsp Jimmy Medina Pintor; Provincial Intelligence Branch-Sorsogon PPO; 96MICo, 9ID, PA; 5RCPSB, Charlie Company; and Castilla Municipal Police Station (MPS) led by PSupt El Cid Talay Roldan implemented Search Warrant Nr 2013-43 and 44 issued by Hon Judge Amy Ana L De Villa-Rosero, Executive Judge, RTC, Ligao City dated May 10, 2013 against Ramir Navas Y Latagan, legal age, businessman, and resident of Sitio Misalay, Brgy Macalaya, Castilla, Sorsogon for Violation of PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294 (Illegal Possession of Firearms).
The search and seizure operation for firearms yielded negative result however, incidental to a lawful search, the group recovered and seized the following items: 878 pcs of sample ballots with one hundred peso bill each amounting to 87,000 and 17 pcs lists of prospective recipients. The search was conducted in the presence of Brgy Councilor Christopher Luna and Brgy Chairman Recto Enovejas of said barangays.
At about 9:20AM of the same date, combined elements of Aroroy MPS led by PCI Perfecto M Loviña Jr; ACOP, PIDMB, Masbate PPO led by SPO1 Reynaldo C Baile; 9IB, 9ID, PA led by Cpl Elmer M Echaluce; and RSOTG Masbate responded to an information from Brgy Captain Emilio Sarco of Brgy Sawang, Aroroy, Masbate that Cipriano Escurel y Cantoria, who was then staying at shanty house located within the vicinity of said Barangay was in possession of firearms concealed in his jacket. Confiscated from his possession and custody were one (1) Caliber 357 revolver marked “Smith and Wesson” with Serial Number 880044; two (2) ammunition for said caliber and two (2) ammunition for Caliber .38 with no pertinent document to posses the same from the competent authority.
At about 1:50 in the afternoon, combined elements of PNP & AFP led by Police Inspector Joenel Moratalla conducted checkpoint at Brgy Guinbawahan, Balud, Masbate inspected and recovered firearms, pin guns and singe shot 12 gauge from a person named Dodoy Arroyo.
Meanwhile, joint elements of 9IB, 9ID, PA and RSOTG Masbate led by PI Joel C Moratalla, flagged down a colored black Bajaj motorcycle driven by unidentified driver who managed to escape, but the team apprehended the back rider, Yulo Arroyo y Palmares, 32 years old, married and a resident of Brgy Poblacion, Balud, Masbate. Tucked in the waist of the suspect were one (1) improvised (pin gun) loaded with one (1) live ammunition for caliber 9mm and one (1) improvised homemade shotgun loaded with one (1) live ammunition for twelve (12) gauge shotgun with no pertinent document from authorities to posses the same.
At about 1:55 in the afternoon, joint elements of RSOTG Masbate led by PSupt Eliseo Tanding and Balud MPS led by PI Reynaldo Balindan, OIC, while on their way to Brgy Bongcanaway, Balud to respond for police assistance as requested by Welma Aguilles, had a temporary stop along the road of Brgy. Guinbanhawan, Balud Masbate, when a DT Yamaha motorcycle driven by Elvin Ramos y Macuha, 39 years old, single with Edvin Cos y Son as back rider, accidentally bumped the second patrol car (marked RLD) of the convoy, hitting its front left door. Upon verification of the driver by PI Balindun, Elvin Ramos was caught having in his possession, control and custody one (1) caliber .38 revolver tucked on his waist, marked “Smith and Wesson” without serial number with six (6) live ammunition inside the cylinder, nine (9) pieces live ammunition, one (1) spent shell for same caliber.
Also recovered were one (1) unit cell phone LG CEO 168 and money amounting to Four Thousand Three Hundred Pesos (Php 4,300.00) and election fliers/pamphlets with marked “Vote straight Team RJ LIM” placed inside the belt bag “Jansport” colored black and green.
At about 9:10 in the evening, team led by PINSP Alex Moral, OIC Mobo MPS, together with the joint elements of Philippine Army, 9ID led by Cpt Roel B. Burac with direct supervision of PSINP Jeffrey Fernandez, DPD, MPPO, while conducting COMELEC checkpoint at Poblacion 2, Mobo, Masbate apprehended the following persons for violation of COMELEC gun ban: Ronnie Nuñez y Etang, 42 years old, married, Brgy. Tanod and a resident of Brgy. Sawmill, Mobo, Masbate for possession of Cal. 38 revolver (Paltik) with marked Sturm Ruger and Co. Inc and without Serial Number loaded with 5 live ammo, with brown holsters; Roberto Lalaguna y Ramos, 44 y/o, married, farmer and a resident of Brgy Sawmill, Mobo, Masbate for possession of Cal .45 pistol with Serial no. 315022 marked Kimber Yunkers USA with one magazine loaded with 8 live ammo and Anthony Garcia y Braulio, 31 y/o, married, driver and a resident of Sitio Tabuc, Bañadero, Mobo, Masbate for possession of Cal .45 pistol marked Armscor w/ Serial Number 941116 with one (1) magazine loaded with 7 live ammo.
Said persons were apprehended while on board of two (2) motorcycles, one (1) Rusi MC w/ plate no. 2841-IC driven by Anthony Garcia without driver’s license and one (1) Bajaj MC for registration driven by Arjan Verano y Cervantes, 31 y/o, married resident of Cogon, Mobo, Masbate with expired driver’s license EO3-03-030963. Subject persons failed to present any documents or exception from the COMELEC to possess firearms.
Later in the evening, at about 11:00 pm, upon receipt of information reported from a text msg, the team of Sta Magdalena MPS led by PSI Jerry Clorado Cereno, ACOP, proceeded to Brgy San Rafael, Sta Magdalena, Sorsogon. Upon arrival, the passengers of one Tamaraw FX, color maroon with plate nr UFA 247, allegedly used by the supporters of Mayoralty candidate Eddie Lozano, scampered to different directions while the driver, Romel Gamba Gallon, 29 y/o, resident of Poblacion, Sta Magdalena, Sorsogon was arrested after the recovery of one cal. 38, Smith and Wesson revolver w/o Serial Nr and loaded with six live ammo; one cal. 38, Smith and Wesson Springfield mass revolver, loaded with five live ammo; ten pcs live ammo for cal. 38 revolver; and one bladed weapon.
The visual search was conducted in the presence of Brgy Kagawad Salvador Alminana and Brgy Tanod Ramil Galan of said barangay.
All arrested persons and recovered pieces of evidence are presently in the custody of the respective MPS for proper disposition. Appropriate charges are being prepared for filing in court against the apprehended suspects.
Meanwhile, at about 9:45 AM on election day, a complaint from a certain Corazon Garrate Insua and Marilou Bilason Escudero, a Mayoralty candidate reported to Casiguran MPS that a certain Cleto Hababag, Brgy Chairman of Rizal, Casiguran, Sorsogon handed to Corazon Garrate the sample ballot with cash money amounting to P400.00 containing the list of NPC Candidates from Senator down to Municipal Councilor with serial nrs JG574840, JC013456, XM795250, AND UZ156928 with one pc of P100.00 each.
Brgy Chairman Cleto Hababag was nowhere to be found when the elements of Casiguran MPS proceeded to the house of the former. Marilou Escudero said she will file appropriate case against the suspect.
Capt. Panesa also said they have received reports coming from Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) that some Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in some areas in Masbate and Sorsogon experienced technical problems, however Comelec immediately responded to it by troubleshooting and replacing malfunctioning machines.
Colonel Kakilala expressed appreciation and is grateful to his men and all those who showed commitment and support realizing a Secured And Fair Elections and achieving a generally peaceful May 2013 polls. He further assured the public that the Philippine Army will always be available to defend the country and its people against any threat, and in winning the peace that everyone has long been dreaming of. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon/PA)