A farmer from Sagay City in Negros Occidental was the first Commission on Elections gun ban violator in Bacolod City, since the start of the election period Saturday, Station 2 chief, Senior Insp. Jovil Sedel, said yesterday.
Sedel said Reich Tabay Sr., 40, of Sitio Kabiguhan, Brgy. Lopez Jaena in Sagay, was arrested at the Hall of Justice in Brgy. 9, Bacolod, at about 10:55 a.m. yesterday.
Tabay went to the Hall of Justice to request from the Registry of Deeds a certified true copy of his ownership of a lot, Sedel said.
When Tabay approached the entrance gate of the building, guard Richard Transmonte checked his backpack and saw a black box, that he said was a tool box, Sedel said.
Tabay admitted that the box contained a gun when Transmonte insisted to open it, Sedel said.
A .45 Armscor caliber pistol, with serial number 1175934, and a magazine loaded with 10 live ammunition for .45 caliber were recovered from him, police records show.
Transmonte asked Tabay whether he was a soldier or a policeman but he said he was not.
Sedel said Tabay failed to present any valid document that the gun is licensed and he is entitled to carry it.
Tabay said he did not know that his brother, whose name he did not disclose, had put it in his bag.
“It is licensed but I forgot to take the documents with me since I just carry the bag and then I proceeded to Bacolod without checking its content,” Tabay said.
Charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and for violation of the Comelec gun ban were filed against Tabay before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday.
Meanwhile, Sedel said they arrested Ricardo Aban, alias “Damian”, 23, at his house in Purok Bolinao, Brgy. 1 in Bacolod, at about 10:20 p.m. Monday, for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition charges.
Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 6 Judge Karen Joy Tan-Gaston, who issued the warrant for Aban’s arrest, set his bail at P60,000, Sedel added.*SGG