TWO men riding a Kennedy military jeep mounted with a caliber .30 machinegun were arrested by the police in Sual, Pangasinan on Monday afternoon and are now facing charges for violation of the gun ban under the Omnibus Election Code, a Police Regional Office 1 report said yesterday.
The PRO1 report said that at around 7 p.m. Monday, members of the 1st Maneuver Platoon of the Pangasinan Provincial Mobile Force Company helping secure the Sual town fiesta received a report regarding the presence of the suspects who were going around the town plaza on board a military vehicle with a machinegun mounted on its back.
The presence of the two who were displaying a machinegun triggered a mild panic in the area amid reports they are members of a partisan armed group from Nueva Ecija hired by a local politician seeking reelection in the May 13 local election.
The policemen led by Captain Dawrin Zafra and Chief Master Sergeant Ronabel Babera checked the information from a concerned citizen and later found the vehicle parked along the national road in Poblacion West with two unidentified men as its passengers.
The officers tried to accost the suspects but the driver stepped on the gas triggering a chase which ended up in front of the Caltext gasoline station in Poblacion Sual.
When asked to produce any authority from the Commission on Elections, the driver of the jeep identified as Rogelio Buan III, a 46-year old contractor from no. 134 Rizal West Avenue, Poblacion , Lingayen, Pangasinan failed to produce any prompting the lawmen to place him under arrest as well as his passenger Allen Paul Domingo,37, a contractor from Bgy. San Felipe Bata in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija.
Their green Kennedy military jeep with plate no. DSK-731 with the mounted cal. 30 machinegun and with an ammunition box with markings Government Arsenal 230 CTGS GA 762100 APDG2L-13-02 was impounded too.
Buan claimed that the machinegun is just a replica. However, they cannot simply get away with their alibi since the nationwide gun ban covers gun replica which may be used to ‘threaten or intimidate’ other people.