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Raps filed against men suspected as ‘guns for hire’

Charges of illegal possession of firearms, bladed weapons and high explosives were filed yesterday at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office against five armed men arrested in Dumanjug town, south Cebu.

One had a pending warrant of arrest for murder.

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Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia aired his suspicion that they were guns for hire of his opponent, Cesar Baricuatro of the Liberal Party.

Police are looking into the report.

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“Based on our monitoring, there is a deployment of men by both camps. We are checking if these armed men are being hired by a political party,” said Cebu Provincial Police Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr. in a TV interview.

Dumanjug is a potential election watchlist area (EWA).

The suspects were identified as 24-year-old Bobby de la Cerna and his 19-year-old brother Jimmy, both residents of Argao town, 25-year-old Leomar Angana and his 37-year-old brother George and 22-year-old Ruel Gutana, all residents of Dumanjug town.

They will also be charged for violating the election gun ban.

The four were arrested after police were tipped off that an armed man was sighted in barangay Pawa at 1 p.m last Thursday.

The group were spotted by police resting in a shanty. They didn’t resist arrest.

Confiscated from their possession were two KG 9 machine pistols, two magazines , one .357 revolver with four bullets, a .45 pistol with three live bullets, two knives, and a grenade.

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Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo Jr. said the arrest shows that police are doing their job and that “we are not singling out Garcia.”

“We did not anticipate this to happen in Dumanjug three to four months ago so we have conducted a lot of checkpoints.”

Police said one of the members, Bobby dela Cerna has a pending arrest warrant for murder issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 26 Judge Maximo Perez for the killing of a barangay tanod last September in in barangay Kanguha, Dumanjug.

The group headed by Leomar Angara were also suspects in the shooting of 20-year-old David Quirante, Jr. due to gang rivalry last month.

Police said Leomar recently posted bail for illegal possession of firearms, frustrated murder and illegal possession of illegal drugs, Lucernas added.

SPO2 Florencio Clarion of the Dumanjug police precinct said Leomar is facing a frustrated murder case for shooting a member of Quirante’s group in the town’s plaza a few months ago.

Comendador Jr., Cebu provincial police chief, said he will field additional police to the Dumanjug statino.

Dumanjug Mayor Garcia is running for reelection against Liberal Party-Cebu (LP-Cebu) candidate Cesar Baricuatro.

Both camps have accused each other of using armed men in their campaigns.

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TAGS: Cebu City, Crime and Law and Justice
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