SAN Francisco, Camotes Island Mayor Alfredo “Al” Arquillano Jr. and his brother, Vice Mayor Aly Arquillano, have a good reason to celebrate.

Aside from securing twin victories during the May 9, 2022 elections, the brothers were acquitted of charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives that were filed against them in 2019.

On June 24, 2022, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 90 in Danao City decided to dismiss the case filed against the Arquillano siblings after prosecutors failed to prove their guilt.

“The instant case is hereby dismissed for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Perforce, accused Aly Aranas Arquillano and Alfredo Aranas Arquillano are hereby acquitted,” Presiding Judge Josefa Pinza Ramos said in her decision.

Brothers’ arrest

Alfredo and Aly, who were both mayor and vice mayor in 2019, respectively, were arrested by operatives of the Cebu Provincial Intelligence Branch after police found several firearms and a hand grenade in the brothers’ rooms during a rainy day in their house in Barangay Poblacion, San Francisco.

The arrest of the brothers were based on a search warrant issued by Barili RTC Branch 10 Judge Leopoldo Cañete.

Both brothers were charged for violating Republic Act (RA) 9516 and RA 10591. They were able to post bail for their temporary liberty.

Demurrer to evidence

Before their case was dismissed, the two brothers filed a demurrer to evidence, asking the court to dismiss the cases against them due to insufficient evidence.

They cited several instances: the evidence taken from their house was “inadmissible” to court, that the search warrant issued by Cañete was illegal and that the prosecution failed to establish that they had committed a crime. (ANV / TPT)