Ambush of Ilocos judge alarms PNP

DIRECTOR General Raul Bacalzo yesterday ordered members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify the implementation of the total election gun ban hours after two unidentified gunmen shot death Judge Reynaldo Lacasandile of Regional Trial Court Branch 20 of Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

Earlier, two government officials and a village chairman in Basilan were killed.

PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. said the Bacalzo issued a verbal directive to all police regional commanders to intensify the campaign against loose firearms during the gun ban period.

“In this regard, intensify the strict implementation of the nationwide (total election) gun ban, especially the conduct of Comelec checkpoints,” Cruz said, quoting the PNP chief’s directives.

Cruz said police ground commanders were also directed to enhance the Operation “Sita” and Operation “Bakal” in their respective areas of jurisdiction to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future.

Lacasandile was on his way to his office in Vigan City yesterday dawn  when he was waylaid by two motorcycle-riding gunmen.

He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital due to multiple gunshot wounds.

A village chief was also gunned down by unidentified gunmen in Basilan while a municipal official in Ilocos Norte were also gunned down over the weekend.

As of Sunday, a total of 146 persons composed of 131 civilians, four policemen and two military personnel have been arrested for violations of the total election gun ban, Camp Crame reports said.

The reports from the PNP’s National Election Monitoring and Action Center (Nemac) also said that a total of 127 firearms (37 high-powered and 90 low-powered), two airguns, 23 bladed weapons and three hand grenades were seized. Anthony Vargas

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