MILITANT groups protested the release of the two members of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) in Davao Region who were caught violating the gun ban.

Technical Sergeant Elpedio Canillas, 53, a resident of Blk. 16, Lot 16, NHA Bangkal; and Private First Class Edmar Tepait, 50, a resident of Fatima Village, Bajada, were found in possession of firearms while off duty at a checkpoint near Airport View, Diversion Road, Buhangin, Davao City, around 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

Sun.Star Superbalita verified the journal of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Tuesday and found that the two are facing charges for violating the Commission on Election (Comelec) Resolution 8714 (Gun Ban) and illegal possession of firearms.

The case is now before the City Prosecutor's Office (CPO) with docket numbers IS # XI-02-INV-10-A-00095 and XI-O2-INV-10-A-OOO96 and for violation of the gun ban and illegal possession of firearms.

DCPO officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Rene Aspera said they were merely following due process.

"Actually, the case has been filed in the City Prosecutor's Office. Pinalabas lang sila dahil lumampas na sa oras. Kung hindi na-file ang kaso at hindi sila pinalabas baka kami ang idemanda sa korte. At sinabi naman ng kanilang pamunoan nga pwede naman silang ipatawag ano mang ors kung ipatawag sila court," he said in an interview Tuesday.

When asked for his reaction on the protest actions by militant groups, Aspera said it is their right to express their grievance.

"Karapatan nilang magsagawa ng protesta (It is their right to protest)," he said.

Tepait is suspected to be behind the death of Rebelyn Pitao, who was found brutally raped and murdered last year.

Militant groups, such Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Gabriela Women's Party, Anakpawis Partylist, Karapatan Southern Mindanao Region and Kabataan Partylist, staged a protest in front of the DCPO along San Pedro street on Tuesday.

"Nasuko mi sa kapulisan tungod kay ila ming gihikawan sa pagtan-aw sa dagway sa usa sa mga suspetsado sa pagpatay sa akong anak nga si Rebelyn. Miadto mi sa Investigation Detection and Management Section (IDMS) kagahapon (Lunes) apan giingnan mi nga tua napriso sa Buhangin Police Station. Dihang miadto mi sa Buhangin, desk officer ang miatubang sa amoa ug giingnan mi nga wala sa ilang kustodiya ug wala ang ilang chief-of-police. Among gihangyo nga tawagan sa cellphone, miingon siya nga wala silay cell number," said Evangeline Pitao, the victim's mother, in an interview with Sun.Star Superbalita.

Aspera said Task Force Rebelyn is still gathering evidences to arrest the men behind Rebelyn's death. (AD)