Mayor, 6 others nabbed for illegal possession of firearms in Lanao del Norte
ILIGAN CITY – Authorities on Sunday arrested another Lanao del Norte mayor and six others for illegal possession of firearms.
In a report, the Lanao del Norte police said Pantar town Mayor Jabar Tago was arrested during an operation conducted by elements of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, the Scout Ranger Battalion, the Military Intelligence Battalion and the police between the villages of Punod and Sundiga.
Also arrested were Tago’s relatives, identified as Janoding and Jameloding Tago, who had pending warrants for murder; and four others identified as Rehan Gumpal, Abdul Racman Gumpal, Kiram Ampuan and Nasroding Lao.
Recovered during the raid were 15 assorted high- and low-powered firearms, including a locally made replica of a .50 caliber Barret sniper’s rifle, AK-47, and M79 grenade launchers.
Tago has been serving as Pantar mayor for the past four months. He replaced Pantar Vice Mayor Hadji Rakim Alingan, who had assumed the town’s mayorship when Exchan Limbona was killed in an ambush on December 29, 2016.
Tago is the second Lanao del Norte mayor arrested since the implementation of the martial law in Mindanao.
In August last year, authorities in Ozamiz City also arrested the mayor of Kolambugan town, Lanao del Norte and three others after guns and explosives were found in their possession.
In a report, the Ozamiz City police said Kolambugan Mayor Lorenzo Mañigos and three other men were on board a pickup truck near the port of Ozamiz when flagged down at a checkpoint.
Mañigos reportedly told investigators the firearms were licensed. However, the Ozamiz police said the guns had expired licenses upon verification. Also allegedly recovered from the mayor’s vehicle were four grenades.
The mayor and his three companions had since been charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives and remain in jail. — with report from Richel Umel /ee
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