By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – Three alleged security escorts of Isabela, Negros Occidental, Mayor Joselito Malabor were arrested after police raided their houses in search of unauthorized firearms.
Police identified the three as Alexander Ferrer, 60, of Barangay 8, Niel Ladrido, of Barangay Tinongan, and Florentino Lopio, of Barangay 9 Poblacion.
Ferrer is a retired soldier while Lupio is a former barangay official.
The operation was conducted by a team from the Intelligence Section of the Negros Occidental Police, 1st and 2nd companies of the Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company and Isabela Municipal Police Station.
The team had search warrants issued by Judge Mila Yap-Camiso of Regional Trial Court in La Carlota City.
Among the items recovered from Ferrer were two.45 caliber pistols, three magazines, 49 rounds of ammunition and 36 rounds of Thompson firearm, and 19 .9mm rounds.
Seized from Ladrido’s house were a .45 caliber pistol, ammunition, and spent .9mm and M16 ammunition.
Police recovered from Lopio .45 cal. pistol, and two magazines with six live rounds.
Charges for violation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition were filed before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Bacolod City, the following day against the three suspects.
Police also raided the house of Dominique Kerr Yanson, 23, of Barangay Libas but authorities did not find illegal weapons.
Malabor said the raid was politically motivated and called for a fair investigation.
Malabor is seeking reelection.
Police Col. Romeo Baleros, Negros Occidental police chief, denied that politics was behind the raids.