False alarm in Clarin...
Citizen's arrest order
works, attests mayor
TAGBILARAN CITY, April 25 (PIA)--A day after local officials declared that barangay officials can conduct citizen's arrest to criminals and anybody among the un-armed bandits who may be roaming around town, police picked up a suspect who looked like one of the bandits in the police gallery.
But, no, Clarin Mayor Allen Rey Piezas, confirmed hours after tactical investigation that the suspect was a case of wrong identity.
The suspect, happened to be a certain Albert Laguna, a drifter and resident of Barangay Ambuan,in nearby Catigbian.
Even then, the mayor hinted that their call for citizen's participation in keeping their places safe has worked well.
Military authorities have admitted that a huge part of the successful thwarting of the evil plans of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) which landed in Napo, upriver in Inabanga was because communities helped in reporting them.
The encounter that also happened in Clarin ensued after a habal-habal driver reported the presence of suspicious men who contracted him to buy bread.
Over the mistaken identity, the mayor president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in Bohol cautioned his people to be careful with arresting persons who might be armed.
"Barangay officials are authorized o make a citizen's arrest, all those who see anybody unfamiliar are tasked to bring him to authorities or to report them to the police station," the mayor said.
"If you see the man armed, do not make an arrest, instead report it to the authorities," he suggested.
The day before, people who have been primed to report any unusual incident especially within the areas of conflict, also reported the presence of six men in parachutes who spoke a strange language.
Catigbian police responded to the alarm and motored to Barangay Causwagan and Cabog boundary to find the six men, who were tourists led by French balooner Jeremie Porret from Sky's the Limit Balloon Rides based in Buenos Aires, Carmen.
Clarin issued the citizen's arrest order after military intelligence authorities working to account for the three remaining bandits have confirmed that only one of the bandits is armed.
In the morning of April 25, barangay residents reported to Clarin police the presence of a stranger who also incidentally looks like one of the bandits that government troops have been looking.
Police forces immediately dispatched a team to verify the information and detain the suspect, with express caution: the man may be armed.
The team then accosted the suspect and brought him to the Clarin Police Station for interrogation.
There, the authorities learned that the man was not the one they were looking for and not among the three which police and military authorities are hunting, after the fatal encounter that happened last Saturday that left four dead.
Among those who died was the Boholano Balik-Islam convert and Abu Sayyaf leader Joselito Melloria.
Melloria accordingly assumed the post after their leader Muamar Kali or Abu Rami died in another encounter in nearby Inabanga, April 11.
The Clarin encounter happened the day Bohol the hosted international conference of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) ended, and 11 days after the ASG bandits roamed in the contained areas in Inabanga and Clarin.
In Clarin too, the military has already cleared the residents of the barangays affected by the conflict to return to their homes at daytime to resume their works.
This too as Clarin officials have declared a state of calamity all over the town, in a bid to loosen up some funds to spruce up their allocations from their fast depleting budget and sustain the manhunt activities as well as support the needs of their evacuation centers. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
It may be a false alarm, but the reaction from the community seeing a stranger in their area has triggered police reaction, apprehending the person, who later turned out to be a mistaken identity, relayed Clarin mayor Allen Ray Piezas to local media covering the hunt for the ASG in Clarin. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)