Aides of Leyte mayoral bet face gun ban charges
LEYTE, Philippines - A mayoral candidate’s driver and companion are facing charges for violating the election gun ban and for illegal possession of firearms.
Police identified the suspects as Nestor Abanggan, driver of Inopacan town mayoral candidate Alfredo Lloren, and his companion, Arnulfo Reglamos.
According to the local police, they followed the suspects after incumbent Inopacan Mayor Silvestre Lumarda noticed they were acting suspiciously outside his home Thursday afternoon, May 3.
"Two weeks na diay to siya sige sunud-sunod nako. Adtong buntaga pud, diha ko sa iskina, namaligya kunohay siya ug bakos," Mayor Lumarda told Rappler, particularly referring to Reglamos. (He has been following me for 2 weeks already. One morning, I was at the street corner, he disguised himself as a vendor selling belts.)
Inopacan police chief Allan Cerro said policemen caught the suspects carrying an unlicensed firearm. Seized from Reglamos was a .45 caliber pistol and from Abanggan, a magazine with 10 bullets.
Abanggan punched a police officer during the arrest, police reported. They added that Reglamos, a former police officer in Cebu, was recently acquitted in a murder case.
Rappler tried to reach Lloren but he did not comment on the incident.
Tense race in Inopacan
The mayoral race in Inopacan is expected to be tight and tense.
Lloren, a former mayor of the town, is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and Philip Romualdez’ local party Tingog Leytenon, challenging the re-election bid of Liberal Party’s Lumarda.
Lloren served 3 terms as mayor of the 4th class municipality. His wife, Dr Janice Lloren, lost to then vice mayor Lumarda in the 2010 election by 509 votes. Inopacan has about 11,000 voters. – Rappler.com
Jed Cortes is a Rappler Ambassador and teaches at Visayas State University.
EDITOR"S NOTE: We apologize for inadvertently posting the clear photos of the suspects.
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