Police seize arms cache from nine politico aides

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TUGUEGARAO CITY: The Cagayan Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested for gun ban violation nine employees of the Provincial Government of Isabela who are reportedly supporters of a top politician.

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Seized from the suspects who claimed to be henchmen of Isabela vice governor, now Rep.-elect Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano 3rd, were a cache of high-powered firearms and ammunition.

Police said these were concealed in the remote Baliwag village in Peñablanca town, Cagayan.

Arrested were Gilmar Belleza 29, Vincente Bassig 20, Alvin Chavez 22 who are employed with the Provincial Services Office of Isabela; Bobby Antonio 47, Charles Calamba 35, Gilmon Beran 33, Pio Agustin 46, Oliver Pira 31, Antonio Paguirigan 53 who are all townmates of Albano in San Pablo town in Isabela.

Police Director Sr. Supt. Gregorio Lim said that, the suspects have been patrolling the remote village brandishing their weapons around 3 p.m. of June 10 as reported by terrified residents.

Police said that, operatives were immediately dispatched to the village and chanced upon the armed group aboard a white Mitsubishi Pajero (RTA 168) allegedly registered to Albano.

Seized from the group were 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.

Police held the suspects at the Cagayan Police Office including the vehicle. Charges o f violation of the Comelec gun ban were prepared before it expired on June 12 midnight.

Leander C. Domingo

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