Reelectionist barangay chair, 18 others nabbed in Bukidnon town raid; illegal firearms seized

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 21 April) — Nineteen persons were arrested, including reelectionist barangay chair Cherry Barros and her British son in law, when a joint law enforcement task force raided Barros’ residential compound in Libona, Bukidnon Saturday dawn for alleged illegal possession of firearms.

Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police Region 10 said three soldiers were wounded when Barros’ followers who are residing in the compound traded shots and lobbed a grenade at the government enforcers.

He said the joint police and Army team arrested Barros and 18 other persons including a British national identified as Peter Gore Jr. Gore was later identified as her son in law.

Barros’ husband, Tarcisio, managed to escape, Gonda said.

Capt. Tere Ingente, spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division said the raiding team was serving the search warrant at 2 a.m. when Barros’ followers fired shots at them.

“Initially the team members were disoriented because it was very dark. There was also a high concrete wall around the compound,” he said.

Ingente said by morning, soldiers were able to search six houses in the compound and found five caliber .45 pistols; a shot gun; a caliber .30 Springfield rifle; a caliber .38 revolver; a caliber .40; two grenades; and assorted pistol magazines and ammunition.

Gonda said the police-military operation was based on a search warrant issued by a court.

A nationwide gun ban is ongoing due to the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls. The gun ban is imposed from April 14 to May 21.

The last day of filing certificates of candidacy for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials was on Saturday, April 21. Campaign period is from May 4 to May 12.  (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)