By NITZ ARANCON
POLICE yesterday raided the ancestral home of Claveria town’s mayor but found nothing illegal inside, but they seized assorted firearms from a group of militiamen outside that was described as private army-like.
Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Misamis Oriental and the National Police’s Special Action Force, and the Regional Mobile Force Battalion, raided the ancestral home of the Salvaleon family in Barangay Malanaga, Claveria, Misamis Oriental, at 3 am yesterday.
M/Sgt. Noel Oclarit of the CIDG said authorities arrested 10 people, including former town mayor Redentor Salvaleon’s 67-year-old wife Gertrudes and son Reggan, 37.
The current mayor of Claveria, Meraluna Abrogar, is a scion of the Salvaleon family.
Oclarit said the police also arrested two brothers identified as Christopher Pagara, 39, and Mario Pagara, 49, who were serving as guards.
Others arrested were militiamen under the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion identified as Ritchie Taquin, 39; Ricardo Sumilla, 61; Roger Cailing, 49; Rammie Bacala, 40; Ernesto Ayuman, 37; and Joselito Cabaluna, 29.
Oclarit said the arrested suspects were facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and violation of the elections gun ban unless they could show documents to justify why they had firearms and ammunition.
The raid was carried out based on a search warrant issued by Gingoog-based regional Judge Mirabeaus Undalok against Gertrudes and her son Reggan who were accused of violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, and illegal possession of explosive.
Police however failed to find any firearm and explosive inside the Salvaleon house.
Outside, the police disarmed and seized the guns of the two guards and six militiamen.
Confiscated were four M-16 Armalite rifles, two M-14 rifles, two caliber .45 pistols, and a KG-9 machine pistol, assorted bullets and magazines.
The Pagara brothers told investigators that the caliber .45 and KG-9 machine pistols belonged to the Salvaleons and were issued to them because they were guarding the ancestral house and a store that belongs to the family.
The CIDG questioned why members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) were outside the Salvaleon house in Barangay Malanaga when their detatchment was supposed to be in Barangay Mat-i, Claveria.
“Mora na hino-on nga nahimong private army ni sila sa pamilya Salvaleon,” Oclarit said.