Tension grips Buenavista, LP bet nabbed for ammos

May 9, 2013 1:21 am 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 8 — The spate of election-related violent incidents in Buenavista prompted the joint security coordinating councils—both in the province and the region—to raise security attention on the town’s situation as one of the five high-risk areas with the most number of election-related violent incidents (ERVIs).

Police Provincial Director Constantino Barot Jr., clarified during the press conference on Tuesday (May 7) at Camp Dagohoy that election-related concerns have been concentrated in six areas only which should be the only Election Watchlist Areas (EWAs) in Bohol instead of scattering the heightened attention to all the 48 areas in the entire province.

While special attention is on Buenavista and the five other EWAS, the nationwide full alert still covers the rest of Bohol wherein police visibility is expanded and proactive search related to Comelec gun ban is implemented under Oplan Bakal and Oplan Sita.

Of these six EWAS, only Candijay can be categorized as medium-risk, while the high-risk areas are Buenavista, Danao, Trinidad, Carmen and Tagbilaran City.

Buenavista has four ERVIs–the highest number–so far, that had occurred related to the 2013 elections.

Barot, together with Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) head–PSupt. Gil del Prado and Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) legal officer—PSInsp. Fidel Tutor, met the local media on Tuesday (May 7) at Camp Dagohoy to issue an official statement regarding the mounting tension in Buenavista, especially the recent ambush of a CAFGU.

Barot explained that what really happened in Buenavista is a series of retaliations between the camps of Liberal Party mayoralty bet, former Buenavista mayor Alfonso del Rosario, and incumbent Mayor Ronald Lowel Tirol of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

This is considering that the pattern shows the suspect in an earlier incident became the victim in the next wherein the rival camps take turns in killing or hurting supporters without necessarily taking orders from the mayoralty bets.

The recent incident that shocked the town again was the ambush of a CAFGU identified as Ruel Torregosa who was in plain clothes when then.

The victim’s companion when the incident happened late night last Saturday, another CAFGU Rizalde Garcia, survived and is expected to identify the perpetrators when he would gain courage later as the investigators understand he might be still in shock right now.

Because of the incident that occurred 50 meters across the compound of Del Rosario’s farm in barangay Upper Cangawa, the PNP Centcom have classified Buenavista as an area of grave concern.

The incident also prompted the police to apply for a search warrant on the area after some reports cropped up that the Del Rosario had been keeping some goons in his farm house who must be the ones responsible for the ambush and that there were more bodies hidden inside.

Acting as team leaders of the 10-man raiding team from the Buenavista police station were Police Insp. Ricardo Tiro, SPO1 Francisco Inot, and PO3 Nelson Bajao.

They arrived at Del Rosario’s house in the morning of Monday yet, but the mayoralty candidate refused to take them in until they got the search warrant in the evening and the search had only started at 8:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Del Prado’s team and members of the 4th company of the Special Forces Battalion led by Capt. Alan Vildosola from the Riverside, Bilar detachment observed the raid.

It was also witnessed by Upper Cangawa Barangay Captain Pedro Celocia and Barangay Kagawad Ramilito Ramirez.

The raid yielded a cache of high-powered ammunitions, including 40 of .30 caliber carbine ammos , 159 for .60 caliber, 22 pieces for .30 caliber, 181 pieces for 5.56 caliber, one piece for Flash Suppressor, one long magazine of KG-9, one piece of silencer for .45 caliber pistol, and one .9mm bullet.

It was also proven that the allegations about five other bodies hidden in the compound of Del Rosario was wrong information.

Prior to the search, Pedring Santillas–a candidate for kagawad in Buenavista–turned over a .45 pistol and an AK-47 firearm which he found at the crime scene as he believes it would be necessary in the process of identifying the perpetrators.

Tutor said it is still being checked by the crime laboratory if it matches the type of firearm used in killing Torregosa.

The complaint of illegal possession of high-powered ammunitions was already filed against Del Rosario at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Offfice, according to the legal counsel of BPPO.

Del Rosario is now placed under police custody in his house, but Barot admitted the police team would be forced to leave his property once he posts bail.

Of the six election watchlist areas, only Candijay can be considered in the level of medium risk while Buenavista climbed to the high risk level following incidents of violence with four election-related violence.

The ambush of the two CAFGUs on late evening of May 4, wherein one of them survived, closely followed another shooting incident which killed Tirol’s political campaign runner and a former cop identified as Gregorio Jumao-as at around 5:45 a.m. of May 3 at sitio Hinabonan in barangay Sweetland, Buenavista, while on his way home from fetching water in Poblacion area of the town.

Two more election-related incidents had been recorded earlier, one was on March 17 when a candidate for municipal councilor in Tirol’s slate, then Bonotbonot barangay kagawad Percival Sebua, was also gunned down by six men.

In the latter part of February, Cawag barangay captain Danilo Tagsip was also shot to death by six gunmen using cal. 45 pistols, the same caliber used in the killing of Sebua.(PNA)

FPV/ANGELINE VALENCIA/JNC

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