VACC appeals for speedy trial of 2 Lanao del Norte execs arrested with cache of armory
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on Monday is appealing to the Commission on Elections, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies to strengthen their campaign against private armed groups especially that the May elections is fast approaching.
Dante Jimenez, president of VACC, said despite the fact that more than 900 were apprehended for violation of the election gun ban, authorities should concentrate in the dismantling of known public armed groups operating in the provinces.
Jimenez cited the case filed at the Department of Justice in connection with the cache of firearms, ammunition and explosives found during the raid of the joint-peace security control center (JPSCC), elements of the PNP-Special Action Forces and Criminal Intelligence and Detection Group on February 13, 2013, at the residence of Pantao Ragat Mayor Eleanor Lantud and spouse, Vice Mayor Lacson Mangotara Lantud.
Pantao Ragat is a town in Lanao del Norte.
The raid resulted in the discovery of an arm cache consisting of 14 rifles, 15 M1 garand rifles, two M16 Armalite rifles, six M16 rifles with attached grenade launchers, two M79 grenade launchers, one M-60 machine gun, one 30-caliber bar sniper rifle, one 45-caliber pistol, two 9mm machine pistols, one 9mm pistol and thousands of ammunitions and grenades.
Charges of illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives have been filed by DOJ regional prosecutor Jaime Umpa against Mayor Eleanor Lantud and her spouse, Vice Mayor Mangotara Lantud and several bodyguards since February 2013.
For some unknown reasons, the cases stalled at the DOJ.
Jimenez added if the authorities is serious in their campaign against private armed groups, it is just right and proper that the two local executives should be held liable for the gross violation of the law.
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