PNP to file charges vs. Abra vice mayor over alleged shootout

Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2022 05:52 PM

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MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday it is preparing charges against a politician in Abra for allegedly employing armed bodyguards during the election period and engaging police in a shootout.

PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said the area where the shooting occurred is still cordoned off, and what they regard as suspects have refused to turn over the people and vehicles involved in the incident.

"Sa ngayon, naka-cordon pa rin yung area, particularly doon sa labas ng compound. And as of this morning, we received information na wala na yung ine-expect natin na negotiation para i-surrender sana nila yung iba pang mga occupant nung Toyota van na nakipagputukan doon sa ating mga kapulisan, at pati yung mga baril," she said.

(As of now, the area is still cordoned off, particularly outside the compound. And as of this morning, we received information that the negotiation for the surrender of people aboard the Toyota van who exchanged fire with our policemen, as well as of their guns, has already fizzled out.)

"Yun yung hinihingi ng PNP para makapagpatuloy sila ng investigation. However, as of this morning, we have information na wala na 'yun at nandun na rin yung abugado nila. They will just face whatever cases that the PNP will file against those involved sa incident," Fajardo said.

(That's what the PNP requested for the investigation to proceed. However, as of this morning, we have information that it's no longer happening and their lawyers have already arrived.)

The PNP has processed the body of the killed suspect, and confirmed that the license of a 9 mm pistol recovered from the scene was under the name of Vice Mayor Jaja Josefina Disono.

Fajardo said Disono allegedly violated the Comelec-mandated gun ban.

"Maaari din tingnan, maaring may administrative liability din with respect to the vice mayor for employing bodyguard without exemption or authority from the Comelec," the PNP spokesperson said. 

"But again, like I said, I don't want to preempt the result of the investigation. Let's all see what will be the development in this case," she added.

The camp of Disono has not yet issued a statement to the media regarding the incident as of press time.

The gun ban in the country took effect last Jan. 9, four months ahead of the national and local elections.