Issue of January 23, 2022

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3 violators of COMELEC gun ban nabbed in CAR
by Ofelia C. Empian

With the election period on, three individuals – two in Abra and one in Benguet – were nabbed in separate checkpoints in the Cordillera for violating the Commission on Election gun ban.

In Abra, the first violator in the region was identified as 28-year-old Ariel Bugtong who tried to evade the Comelec checkpoint in Calaba, Bangued on Jan. 12.

When police flagged Bugtong down, he tried to speed away in his motorcycle but authorities easily caught up with him. The police recovered one pistol with one loaded magazine from the suspect.

The next day, 31-year-old John Mark Castillo was apprehended in a checkpoint in Bangbangar, Bangued. Castillo was about to get his driver’s license from his bag when police saw the handgrip of his pistol protruding. Seized from the suspect were one pistol with a loaded magazine and a pouch containing live ammunition.

In Benguet, 31-year-old Jomar Pasigon was not apprehended in a Comelec checkpoint but for driving an alleged stolen motorcycle.

Initial investigation showed that a concerned citizen reported to Buguias Municipal Police Station that he saw his stolen motorcycle parked in front of a grocery store in Barangay Abatan in the evening of Jan. 17.

The motorcycle was earlier reported to be stolen on the night of Dec. 24, 2021 in Barangay Bulalacao, Mankayan, Benguet.

Personnel of the Buguias MPS, together with the motorcycle owner, then went to the place of incident. Upon arriving on the scene, the police saw the suspect hurriedly leaving on the motorcycle.

The suspect was apprehended and was asked for the documents of the motorcycle but failed to show proof of ownership. The police then saw the protruding handgrip of the gun on the bag of the suspect, causing them to check further.

The police then seized a .38 revolver with ammunition from the suspect, who also failed to show legal documents on the possession of the gun.

Cases for violation of Republic Act 10591 or Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and Sec. 261 in relation to Comelec Resolution 10728 or the gun ban were filed against the suspects.

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