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Nation

Another 'gun for hire' surrenders in Abra

The Philippine Star

LA TRINIDAD,  Benguet  -- A third alleged member of a private armed group in Abra surrendered to Cordillera police.

Genaro De la Peña Quemirista, 43, married, a resident of Agtangao, Bangued, Abra’s capital town and an alleged  member  of the notorious Ramil Pilor group surrendered following  negotiations on his surrender.

Quemirista has pending cases for crimes of multiple frustrated murder and violation of the gun ban,  said Cordillera police director Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong.

Only Monday last week,   26-year-old Gerald Versola Valera, a resident of zone 3 in Bangued, was also convinced by the Cordillera police’s regional special operations task group to leave his PAG.

Valera was reportedly an active member of the “Tandingan Guayen Group”, which has been contracting gun-for-hire operations.

Before Valera’s surrender,  Tineg town mayoralty bet Cromwell Luna, a scion of the controversial Luna political clan in Abra, turned in his own assassin after a successful and confidence-building dialogue initiated by policemen.

Luna turned in 29-year-old Sanny Lanag Billong, who was tagged a “trouble maker” in the latter's  village in remote hinterland barangay Alaoa in Tineg.

Luna is facing incumbent mayor Edwin Crisologo in the same town, one of those identified as “perennially bothered by violence in and out of elections” in Abra.

Police have reiterated their appeal for help in tracking down PAG members by informing authorities about the activities of these lawless elements.

The drive to support the gun ban has been stepped up to guarantee the conduct of a secure and free elections in May.

Recently, at least 31 high and low-powered firearms were turned in by incumbent local officials and candidates for various elective posts for muzzle taping.

According to Soriano, the taped firearms of individuals will be returned to  politicians, but law enforcers will frequently conduct surprise inspection of the licensed firearms in order to determine whether or not such firearms were fired by the owners during the election period.

Politicians and candidates in Abra  had surrendered 130 licensed firearms to the Abra police as part of the disarmament in the province ahead of the polls.  The firearms were deposited for safekeeping and taped and will only be released to their owners after the May polls.

“As the conduct of the elections is fast approaching, instructions are given to our police units to intensify the conduct of more activities that will ensure the surrender or arrest of the remaining PAG members being maintained by politicians particularly in Abra,” Magalong said. - Artemio A. Dumlao

ABRA ARTEMIO A BANGUED BEFORE VALERA BENJAMIN MAGALONG CHIEF SUPT CROMWELL LUNA EDWIN CRISOLOGO GENARO DE
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