2 suspects in VCM burning arrested

Published May 15, 2019, 6:56 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Liezle Basa-Inigo

Two out of the seven suspects in the burning of a vote counting machine (VCM) and election documents last Tuesday were arrested by police in Jones, Isabela.

Col. Mariano Rodriguez, Isabela police chief, identified the suspects as Jayson Leaño, from Sta Isabel, Jones, and Rodel Pascual.

Rodriquez said the two were caught during a hot pursuit operation in Barangay Diarao, Jones, Wednesday.

There were no other details on the arrest of Leaño and Pascual.

Seven gunmen reportedly blocked the dump truck bringing the VCM and election paraphernalia from polling precincts in Barangays Dicamay I and II in Jones to the town hall.

The suspects ordered the election officials in the truck to hand over the VCM and election documents.

The group then set the machine and documents on fire.

Arlyn Borromeo Santos, a member of the board of election inspectors, used a cell phone to report the incident to the police.

The VCM  reportedly contained more or less 200 unread ballots from the precincts in Barangay Dicamay I.

The suspects escaped in a pick-up truck without license plates, police said.