Zamboanga town mayor Carloto, VM Jauculan arrested for unleashing goons in 2016

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Police arrested Friday the mayor and vice mayor of Tampilisan town, as well as three police officers and eight suspected “goons”, for alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code.

Tampilisan Mayor Angeles Carloto and Vice Mayor Generico Jauculan were arrested based on a 2016 case for allegedly violating Section 261 (e) of Omnibus Election Code, which classifies as election offense the use of “threats, intimidation, terrorism, and other forms of coercion”.

Also arrested were PO1 Katherine Benedicto, PO2 Eliaquim Taman, PO3 Carim Magallion, and eight civilians who were identified as election workers of Carloto.

Supt. Bonifacio Arañas, head of the Provincial Police Mobile Group, said those arrested did not resist arrest, while their supporters who gathered at the Municipal Hall following their arrests “were not hostile”.

“Sabi nila mag-vigil sila sa police office hanggang nanduon ang kanilang mayor at bise mayor. Sabi ko okay, basta huwag lang manggulo,” Arañas said.

(The supporters said they will hold a vigil at the police office while the mayor and vice mayor are there. So I told them its okay as long as they will not create trouble).

The arrest stemmed from an incident during the height of election campaign on May 4, 2016, when policemen and the alleged armed “goons” of the mayor entered the compound where Alson Chan’s house is located.

Chan, at that time, was running for mayor against Carloto.

During that incident, a shootout ensued between the full face mask-wearing policemen and alleged goons of Carloto against the security guards of Chan, a local businessman.

A police officer, Senior Insp. Mirdan Usama was killed in the shootout, while Chan was eventually arrested and lost the mayoralty race.

Chan complained before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that Carloto and 33 others violated the Omnibus Election Code.

The Comelec Law Department recommended the filing of charges against the respondents, which was adopted by the Comelec en banc on June 26, 2018.

Carloto and the other respondents questioned Comelec’s decision before the Supreme Court but lost in a ruling handed down on November 13.

The case was eventually filed before the sala of Judge Tomarong, who issued the arrest warrants on Thursday (November 29) against the respondents.

Chan told PNA he felt vindicated by the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I am sure that those who caused me much trouble now know what I went through before,” Chan said.

Chan is again running for mayor against Carloto in the 2019 mid-term elections. (PNA)