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Calbayog cops nab 31 people, seize home-made guns, money for violation of election laws

November 5, 2007

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  On full alert in the recently concluded synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls, Calbayog City policemen quickly responded to the various complaints on violation of election rules.

The seized home-made shotguns and ammunitions. (Photo by PO3 Crispin Singzon, Calbayog City Police Station)

The police apprehended thirty-one people on election day for violation of liquor ban and seized four homemade shotguns and its ammunitions and a P3,500 worth of money for alleged vote-buying.

Calbayog City police chief Supt. Isaias Bañez Tonog presented to local media the homemade  firearms which, he said were taken from the respective residence of Charnito Miano, 38; Danilo Sarmiento, 43; Julio Branzuela, 36 and Ezequiel Cosculla, 63 at around 10 a.m. in Barangay Catabunan, Oquendo District, Calbayog City.

Tonog, who led the responding police team said that the firearms were seized after conducting a negotiation and signing of a covenant for an honest, orderly and peaceful elections between the barangay candidates.

The police chief added that a concerned citizen tipped the police about barangay candidates who were observed to be armed with homemade shotgun which made the residents apprehensive that a failure of election might happen.

“Kay boluntaryo man an ira pagsurender, ginsidngan ko sira nga diri ta kam pa-filan kaso kay ini tikang sa tagsa-tagsa nga balay waray man makuha sa iyo mga lawas. An importante la magin mamingaw. Pero mayda duha nga nandadlagan…ginpabalikan namon pulis… waray man reported nga bumalik an nandadlagan para hadlukon an ira mga kalaban,” Tonog explained.

First Time

In the evening of Oct. 29, thirty-one people who includes customers and employees of three videoke bars in Calbayog.were apprehended who, Tonog said, were caught selling, serving, and taking intoxicating liquor inside their establishment.

The two-day liquor ban started on Oct. 28 and ended Oct. 29 according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 8310.

The resolution states that the violation of said prohibited acts shall be punishable with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation, and in addition, the guilty party shall suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage.

Cases of violation on election rules have already been filed against the violators.

“Siring nira nga yana pala iton nga may yaon nga dakop nga siring siton kay sa national election waray man ak dide. Seguro kon nakadi ak may yaon ak nagkadadakop,” Tonog said.

He added that other business establishments were open the night they did the apprehension but found them serving only softdrinks.

Comelec resolution No. 8310 provides exemptions to establishments. It stipulates that, “hotels and other establishments duly certified by the Department of Tourism as tourist-oriented and habitually in the business of catering to foreign tourists may be exempted for justifiable reasons from the liquor ban, provided they secure prior written authority from the Commission.”


A P3,500 worth of money was also presented to media which, Tonog said is from a complainant of Barangay Oboob, in the same district who received the money in exchange of the seven votes from the complainant’s family members.

The police chief said he had promised them to return the money provided there will be an orderly election in their barangay.

Of the 157 barangays in Calbayog, only in Barangay Buenavista, an interior barangay of the city had failure of election. The two aspirants for Punong Barangay in Bgy. Acedillo received exactly the same number of votes and settled to break the tie by drawing lots last November 3 in the City Comelec Office.