TUGUEGARAO CITY: Nine disowned bodyguards of Vice Gov. Rodolfo Albano of Isabela, known to be provincial guards of Isabela, were temporarily freed on over half a million peso-bail on Thursday.
The Cagayan police earlier this week arrested the suspects for election gun ban violation who were reportedly responding to an indiscriminate firing incident by still unidentified men inside Albano’s ranch in San Pablo town in Isabela.
Barely three days after the suspects’ apprehension, by Judge Felipe Torio of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cabagan, Isabela and whose sala acquired jurisdiction over their case granted the bail for the suspects’ temporary liberty.
Freed on bail were Gilmar Belleza, 29; Vicente Bassig, 20; Alvin Chavez, 22; Bobby Antonio, 47; Charles Calamba, 35; Gilmon Beran, 33; Pio Agustin, 46; Oliver Pira, 31; and Antonio Paguirigan, 53, all of San Pablo town in adjoining Isabela province.
The Cagayan police’s regional public safety company here said the suspects who were apprehended on Monday were employed at the Isabela provincial government as security guards.
Earlier, Albano, also first district representative-elect, said these provincial government men were nabbed within the jurisdiction of their family’s ranch in San Pablo, Isabela and not in Cagayan’s Peñablanca town as earlier reported.
He also explained that these men of the Isabela provincial government who were reportedly intercepted aboard a white Pajero SUV were there as a responding team.
”They were there to respond to a reported alarm of indiscriminate firing in the vicinity when they were mistakenly arrested by the police in the afternoon of June 10,” Albano said.
He said instead of going after those responsible for the indiscriminate firing incident inside their ranch, the “eager beaver” police went on to arrest the capitol guards who were just responding to the incident.
Cagayan police seized from the suspects two .45 pistols, a .357 Smith and Wesson magnum revolver, an Armscor 9mm pistol, one M16 rifle, an Ingram 9mm submachine gun and several rounds of ammunition.
Seized firearms, some belong to the provincial government of Isabela, turned out to be all duly licensed, reports said.
Leander C. Domingo