Five armed men were arrested in a Commission on Elections checkpoint in Barangay Sipi, Bato, Catanduanes recently.
A report reaching the office of Comelec spokesman James Jimenez yesterday identified the arrested men as Rius de la Cruz, of legal age; Arnel Suarez, 44; Noel Azores, 28; Jony Raco, 38; all residents of Masbate City; and John Paul Bernardino, 28, resident of Pandan, Catanduanes.
Jimenez said the police have yet to determine if the suspects were hired by politicians as a private armed group.
Investigation showed that the police received a tip that five armed men onboard a white Toyota Prado were going to pass by the checkpoint.
Retrieved from the suspects were four caliber .45 pistols loaded with 25 ammunition.
Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code states that carrying firearms outside one’s residence or place of business during the election period is prohibited, unless one is authorized in writing by the Comelec.
The suspects, who are now under police custody, will face charges for violation of the Omnibus Election Code and Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act. (Minka Tiangco)