Two Philippine Army soldiers who were arrested and detained for violation of the Comelec gun ban in Sagay City, were temporarily freed Wednesday after posting bail of P12,000 each, Chief Inspector Edel Jose Manzano of Sagay City Police Office yesterday said.
Charges for violation of the Comelec gun ban were filed against PFC Romeo Marcelino Sonio and SSgt. Rene Cantiga Purog, both members of the 62nd Infantry Battalion, before the Regional Trial Court in Cadiz City, Manzano said.
Lt. Col. Efren Morados, 62 nd Infantry Battalion commander, however, said that Sonio and Purog are not yet off the hook, as they are also facing administrative charges for grave misconduct.
The arrest of Sonio and Purog, who are temporarily detailed at the Lopez Sugar Corporation in Brgy. Paraiso, Sagay City, yielded an M-16 assault rifle and a .45 caliber pistol. Both were in civilian clothes and allegedly under the influence of liquor when they were arrested, police investigations showed.
Their apprehension brought to 18 the number of gun ban violators accounted for in Negros Occidental, since the election period started Sept. 28, police records also showed.
Morados said conviction for grave misconduct may lead to dismissal from the military service.
More than two weeks after the enforcement of the Comelec gun ban, the police also reported the confiscation of 14 firearms, a hand grenade, three airsoft rifles and two bladed weapons.
Violation of the Comelec gun ban carries the penalty of a maximum of six years of imprisonment which is not subject to probation.
In addition, the guilty party shall suffer disqualification from public office and deprivation of the right to suffrage, as prescribed by the Comelec resolution.*GPB