PAGADIAN CITY: Police forces raided the house of a southern town mayor and allegedly seized assorted weapons, counterfeit money and sample ballots, officials said on Sunday.
Officials said Mayor Mariano Candelaria Jr. of Gutalac town, was not at home when the raiders led by Supt. Reynaldo Maclang, commander of the Public Safety Company, and the local police chief Insp. Manolo Echem, arrived together with a village official.
Maclang’s group was able to get a warrant from Judge Cheery Joy Ageas to search the mayor’s house and recovered two .45 pistols, a hand grenade, a .357 revolver, a 40mm rifle grenade, two homemade shotguns, a marble gun, two hand guns and munitions.
Police also seized 20 pieces of sample ballots stapled with P500, a bundle of sample ballots for local Nacionalita Party (NP) candidates and 32 pieces of fake ten-peso bills.
There was no immediate statement from Candelaria, who is a leader of the political party called Alliance for Peace and Progress of former Zamboanga del Norte congressman Romeo Jalosjos, Sr.
Last month, a village chieftain in the town Marlon Manisig, 51, who is a supporter of the mayor, was wounded in an ambush staged by masked gunmen.
Manisig was driving his motorcycle when two gunmen also in a motorcycle shot him. The village leader just came from the mayor’s political rally when he was attacked.
The spate of gun attacks and unabated killings in Zamboanga del Norte province have alarmed local government leaders and were calling for the deployment of troops in the province to protect the public from the deteriorating peace and order situation in the area.
Police said it also arrested 2 men on Friday who were allegedly buying votes in the town of Sergio Osmeña in Zamboanga del Norte province for the May 13 local and national elections.
It said the 29-year old Jeruham Mandao was caught in the act giving persons P50 allegedly with the name of Efren Calasang, a municipal board member, who is running in the polls.
It said Insp. Alexie Palisoc, a member of the Public Safety Company, also seized from Mandao bundles of P50 inside folded papers with markings # 7 Efren B. Calasang, SB Member.
Police said more than 6,000 were seized from Mandao.
Another man, Teresito Palubon, 49, was also arrested by Palisoc’s group in the town after he allegedly gave away P20 stapled on a piece of paper with the name of # 17 Palomares, Teofilo “Eddie” who is also running in the polls.
Palubon yielded more than P4,000 allegedly use to buy votes.