Urbiztondo mayor back after a week under NBI custody

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013


THE mayor of Urbiztondo town, who was arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) last November 7 following an early morning raid in his house, returned to his people on Wednesday, December 4, and assured them that no serious case was filed against him.

Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr., who arrived in Urbiztondo Wednesday midnight after seven days of being kept in the safe house of the NBI in Manila, said all the 21 firearms found in his home and piggery and poultry farms were in order as they were licensed, thus no case for illegal possession of firearms was filed against him whatsoever.

What was filed, said Balolong during a press conference, was a case of alleged tampering of the serial numbers of three M-16 and one M-14 rifles, all of which are however licensed, which the NBI was forced to file before the Municipal Trial Court of Urbiztondo as this is just an ordinary case.

The mayor posted in Manila the corresponding bail bonds of P160,000 or P60,000 for each of the high-powered firearms whose serial numbers were said to have been tampered.

Balolong explained that the four firearms in question used to be considered loose firearms that he surrendered in 2005 during a gun amnesty program by the police in 2005, thus after paying the required fees, all these were issued corresponding licenses and for such purpose their serial numbers had to be changed.

The four firearms were among those seized by the NBI at Balolong's home and properties. The raid was covered by four search warrants issued by a Quezon City Regional Trial Court judge.

All of the guns seized are still in the custody of the NBI.

Asked why there is a need to own 21 firearms, Balolong said this is for his own and his family's security, including that of his businesses, as the peace and order situation in Urbiztondo since the very start is unstable.

Meanwhile, as to the claim of NBI-Dagupan chief Pedro Roque Jr. that Balolong was being implicated by one Otto Guialaludin, alias "Boy Muslim," as the brains behind the slaying of couple Ramon and Sorahayda Arcinue, as well as two other high-profile killings in Pangasinan province, Balolong denied this and went to plead to the NBI to be fair in their investigation.

As a matter of fact, the mayor said, when the Arcinue couple were murdered in front of their rented apartment in Sampaloc Manila last year, Guilaludin was on duty in the mayor's gasoline station in Urbiztondo and a local policeman, Sergeant Nelson Palisoc, a member of the Urbiztondo police, can testify that he was with him.

Guialaludin was a bodyguard of Balolong who was arrested by the NBI in Mindanao only last month after he was tagged as the gunman behind the slaying of the Arcinue couple.

The other unsolved killings in Pangasinan where Guialaludin was tagged as the killer was that of Herminigildo Sabangan, a school principal of Urbiztondo and lawyer Dante Untalan of the Public Attorney's Office. (PNA)

Local news

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