A man in a police collar carrying firearms without a license, stapled sample ballots with bills in Cebu City

Arnold Y. Bustamante, Kevin A. Lagunda

May 08, 2022

A MAN carrying unlicensed firearms and samples of ballots tied with cash was arrested at an Election Commission checkpoint in Barangay Lusaran, a mountain village in Cebu City, after 23 hours on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Suspect Jerwin Cortes Laguna surrendered a .357 revolver with no serial number and loaded with 11 rounds, and a .45 pistol with five rounds in its magazine.

Eleven sample ballot papers bearing the names of local party candidates from mayor to councilors were seized in Laguna, a native of Barangay Ginatilan, Balamban.

Each sample ballot had been stapled with P200 in the invoices.

The Comelec checkpoint was manned by Cebu City Mobile Force Company personnel under Lt. Yves Montejo, according to Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, Cebu City Police Deputy Director for Operations.

Parilla said they had received reports that someone was handling Laguna’s activities in the city’s mountain barangays, but they had yet to verify if he was a member of a group. armed.

Cebu City police received reports that an armed group roamed mountain villages to scare voters; however, this report still needs to be validated.

The police official said they still need to verify whether Laguna was involved in vote-buying activities.

Laguna will be charged with unlawful possession of firearms and violating Comelec’s firearms ban and Executive Order 247, which prohibits and punishes “the defacing, mutilation, tearing, burning or destruction of Central Bank notes and coins”.

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