THE alleged bodyguard of Daphne Lagon, political opponent of Tuburan, Cebu Mayor Democrito Diamante, was arrested for firing his gun inside a bar in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City yesterday dawn.
The shooter was identified as Rey Arban, 40, who hails from Malusgod, Duneas, Iloilo City.
Investigators of the Mabolo Police Station said that Lagon, together with 20 persons including her subordinates and bodyguards, went to the bar’s second floor.
Around 2 a.m., the other customers noticed a commotion that involved Arban.
Lagon tried to pacify Arban but he drew his caliber .45 pistol and fired at the floor, prompting the party crowd to run for cover.
The incident caused damage to the establishment amounting to P50,000. That included broken glasses, bottles of beer, tables and customers’ unpaid bills.
Police recovered an empty shell and a live bullet from a caliber .45 pistol in the area.
Arban presented to the police his permit to carry firearms outside of residence, but failed to show the firearm’s license.
In a Facebook post, Andrew Sarmiento, owner of the bar, said that no one was hurt during the incident.
“This is a very serious and unfortunate incident that, fortunately, didn’t end in anyone being a casualty,” he said.
Diamante, for his part, denounced the incident
“I called this press conference because of media flash reports that a bodyguard of the mayor of Tuburan fired his gun. When the man was arrested, it turned out that he is the bodyguard of Lagon. That will send a wrong impression on my part because I am the real mayor of my town,” he said yesterday.
Lagon lost to Diamante during the 2016 election.
Lagon, however, filed a protest on the results in five out of 54 Tuburan barangays before the Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC). Diamante answered the allegations against him but did not file a counter-protest.
The RTC ruled that Lagon won the elections and issued a writ of execution.
However, Lagon failed to assume as mayor after Diamante secured a temporary restraining order from the Commission on Elections en banc.
Arban will be facing complaints for indiscriminate firing, alarm and scandal, malicious mischief, light threats and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on December 18, 2017.
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