By ERWIN MASCARIÑAS
POLICE have documented nine cases of vote buying in Caraga.
Authorities said vote buying was rampant in the town of La Paz in Agusan del Sur with three suspects held by the police for investigation.
Other areas where police documented cases of vote buying are Nasipit in Agusan del Norte, Prosperidad and San Francisco in Agusan del Sur, Hinatuan and Lingig in Surigao del Sur and Loreto town, Dinagat.
The Caraga police have yet to release the names of the suspects currently undergoing investigation.
The police in Caraga said it also went strict in enforcing other election rules. Even before Monday’s elections, police arrested three mayoral candidates from Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur for violation of gun ban.
Brig. Gen. Gilberto Cruz, Caraga police director, said the most recent suspect arrested was in Rosario town in Agusan del Sur. He said mayoral candidate Jupiter Abulog, 40, of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario, was arrested for illegal possession of firearms when the police served a search warrant Saturday morning.
He said police confiscated six caliber .45 pistols, a caliber .40 pistol, an M16 rifle, and ammunition.
Lt. Col. Cholijun Caduyac, regional director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said two other mayoral candidates were arrested Thursday.
Caduyac identified one of the politicians as Lingig Mayor Roberto Luna Jr. who was caught with a caliber .45 pistol, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a rifle grenade, ammunition, and marijuana leaves. Police also seized some P2 million in P100 bills and sample ballots.
Another suspect was Lingig mayoral candidate Edgar Acdog who was arrested the same day. Police said Acdog had a baby armalite assault rifle, KG9 9mm semi-automatic firearm and ammunition. He was arrested with his bodyguard identified as Lolo Kislan, wanted for frustrated murder.