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Zamboanga del Norte mayor, 13 others held over poll offenses

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A town mayor, vice mayor and 12 other persons were arrested on Thursday after the Supreme Court upheld their indictment for alleged election offenses during the 2016 polls.

Chief Superintendent Emmanuel Luis Licup, Zamboanga peninsula police director, identified the respondents as Mayor Angeles Carloto II of Tampilisan town, Vice Mayor Generico Jauculan, municipal employee Victory Gegrimosa; Marlon Andus, barangay captain of Malila, and Bernandita Gulagula and Marlou Buenafe, barangay kagawad of Camul.

Also arrested were Police Officer 3 Carim Magallion, PO2 Eliaquim Taman and PO1 Katherine Benedicto of the Tampilisan police and PO1 Jasser Fabillar of Leon Postigo and civilians Pablo Buenavides Jr., Sally Rejas, Federico Rapal and Richard Halopay.

Licup said the arrests were based on warrants issued by Judge Oscar Tomarong of 9th Regional Trial Court Branch 28 in Liloy town for violation of Section 261 (e) of the Omnibus Election Code.

Carloto’s political opponent, businessman Alson Chan, who filed the complaint, said the respondents entered his compound on May 4, 2016, triggering a shootout that left a police officer dead.

Chan said he was also arrested to prevent him from campaigning.

In a decision issued on Nov. 13, the high tribunal dismissed the petition of Carloto and his co-accused to nullify the ruling of the Commission on Elections finding of probable cause to file charges against them.

As this developed, Licup reminded police officers to remain apolitical. He said anyone found giving favor to any politician faces dismissal.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE

SUPREME COURT

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