By NITZ ARANCON
and JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
THE Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) yesterday pressed charges against the mother and brother of Claveria, Misamis Oriental Mayor Meraluna Salvaleon-Abrogar, and two others for illegal firearms and ammunition possession.
The complaint was filed before the Misamis Oriental prosecutor’s office against Gertrudes Salvaleon and her son Reggan, and their guards identified as brothers Christopher and Mario Pagara.
Gertrudes, wife of former mayor Redentor Salvaleon, and her son Reggan were also charged with violation of the election gun ban. The election period will be up to June.
The four were among 10 people arrested during a raid staged by the CIDG and other police groups at the Salvaleon family’s ancestral home in Barangay Malagana, Claveria, Misamis Oriental, at dawn Tuesday.
Six other people arrested that day, all members of the Citizens’ Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu), were released by the CIDG after an Army official said the militiamen were only doing their work and following orders from the military.
Army Capt. Leoden Bajado, civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion, said the militiamen — Ritchie Taquin, Ricardo Sumilla, Roger Cailing, Rammie Bacala, Ernesto Ayuman, and Joselito Cabaluna — have reported back to work.
Army Lt. Gile Valleser, a patrol base commander of the 58th IB, said the firearms seized from the six militiamen have supporting papers and was issued to the militiamen.
“No case filed against sa ila ug gi-release na man sila sa CIDG ug balik na sila sa ilang duty sa ilang patrol base sa Barangay Malagana,” Bajado said.
M/Sgt. Noel Oclarit of the CIDG confirmed that Lt. Vallerser came and showed the police documents to show that the militiamen were legally armed.
But Oclarit said the Salvaleons and their guards have to answer for the caliber .45 and KG-9 machine pistols seized from the Pagara brothers who were guarding the home of the political family.
Capt. Bajado said the militiamen were sent to carry out security patrol near the Salvaleon house because the family was under threat.
“Ma-o nga ang atong mga Cafgu naghimo silag security patrol sa area ug na-atol sab nga nag-raid ang CIDG, mao tong lakip sila gidakop kay wala man maka-ila ang raiding team nga Cafgu to sila kay ngitngit baya ang palibot,” said Bajado.
Mayor Abrogar said the arrest of her mother Gertrudes and brother Reggan was the result of a land feud between her family and one Jaime Cawasan.
Abrogar said Cawasan was an alleged former member of the New People’s Army (NPA) who loaned his family’s land to the Salvaleons without the knowledge of his family members.
The agreement was that Cawasan would pay off the debt incurred from the loan amounting to at least P2 million but he was not able to pay it, which was the reason why Salvaleon refused to give back the land, she said.
This failure to pay back Salvaleon prompted Cawasan to allegedly threaten and harass her and her family. Abrogar accused Cawasan of burning their tractor.
Abrogar said her relatives feared for their lives prompting them to request for assistance from the Cafgu.
“We have the right to request for security as there was a threat to our lives,” she said.
On Monday, Cawasan surrendered to authorities, and a few hours later, a team of law enforcers raided the Salvaleon residence in Barangay Malagana.
But Abrogar said her mother and brother were not guilty as the firearms and ammunition were not taken from their possession, but from the militiamen and security personnel.
The operation was carried out on the strength of two search warrants for violation of Republic Acts 10591 and 9516, at Purok 2, Centro, Barangay Malagana, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
Seized during the raid were three loaded caliber .45 pistols, two M14 rifles, four M16 rifles, a KG9 submachine gun, and hundreds of live ammunition.