BACOLOD City – Eight persons were arrested for illegal possession of firearms and explosives at a police checkpoint in Sitio Barca, Barangay Jonob-jonob, Escalante City, Negros Occidental.
Police identified them as 20-year-old Clint Mangayon; 19-year-old Kenneth Serondo; 60-year-old Leon Charito; 40-year-old Joel Guillero; 55-year-old Buenvinido Ducay; 32-year-old Aiza Gamao; 21-year-old Jonathan Alcosiva; and a 17-year-old male minor. They were all detained in the custodial facility of the Escalante police station.
The suspects were allegedly preparing for the commemoration of the “Escalante Massacre” when cops flagged down their vehicle in Sitio Barca around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, a police report showed.
Officers of the Escalante police station recovered the following:
* Five .45 caliber pistols with several live bullets
* One .38-caliber pistol with four live bullets
* One KG-9 with 25 live bullets
* Three rifle grenades
* Two improvised dynamites
* 21 improvised petrol bombs
However, the Northern Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (NNAHR) said the arrested individuals were members of the Teatro Obrero cultural workers and activists.
NNAHR claimed that the confiscated firearms and explosives were planted.
The team was holding an information drive for the commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the Escalante Massacre, it added.
Teatro Obrero leads the annual reenactment of Escalante Massacre, which claimed the lives of 21 farmers on Sept. 20, 1985./PN