Mayoral bet nabbed for poking gun at rival's supporter

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Police nabbed a local candidate in Isabela for poking a gun at his rival's supporter, as the number of persons arrested over election gun ban violations rise to about 3,000.

Sta. Maria Vice Mayor Gilbert Masigan, who is now running for mayor in the Isabela town, was disarmed and arrested by local police during a house-to-house campaign Friday.

This, after he had been seen pulling out a gun during a heated argument with Jerry Maquinad, who was campaigning for incumbent Mayor Omar Masigan.

Gilbert Masigan reportedly confronted Maquinad's group for playing loud campaign music for his rival, which he said overpowered his voice.

Aside from the .45-caliber pistol he used to threaten Maquinad, Masigan also carried with him two magazines loaded with 13 live bullets, the police report said.

Masigan will be charged with illegal possession of firearms and for violation the nationwide ban on firearms during the election period.

In a separate statement, the Philippine National Police said a total of 2,971 persons have ben arrested for violating the nationwide gun ban as of Monday.

A total of 2,908 firearms have been confiscated since the ban took effect Jan. 14, while bulk of the arrests made among civilians (2,739 persons).

Also arrested were 128 security guards, 40 members of the PNP, 36 government officials and 20 members of the Armed Forces, among others.

The latest cases involved nine employees of the Rizal Provincial Jail who had been caught driving a van loaded with firearms Sunday.

Three .45-calibre pistols, two .38-calibre revolvers, two fan knives, ammunition and other paraphernalia have been confiscated, a police report said.

"[T]hey failed to show any pertinent documents to carry/bear/transport the firearms," police said further.

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