CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The raid on the residence of a prominent family in Claveria town, Misamis Oriental Tuesday that led to the confiscation of high-powered firearms and ammunition could be due to the land issue involving two families.
In a radio interview, Claveria mayor-elect Meraluna Salvaleon-Abrogar said the arrest of her mother Gertrudes Salvaleon and her brother Reggan was the result of a land feud between her family and a certain Jaime Cawasan.
Cawasan, Salvaleon-Abrogar said, was an alleged former member of the New People’s Army (NPA), who loaned his family’s land to the elder Salvaleon without the knowledge of his immediate family members.
The agreement was that Cawasan would pay off the debt incurred from the loan amounting to at least P2 million but was not able to pay, which was the reason why Salvaleon refused to give back the land, she said.
This failure to pay back Salvaleon prompted Cawasan to allegedly threaten and harass her and her family, including the burning of her tractor.
Then on Monday, Cawasan surrendered to authorities, and a few hours later, a team of law enforcers raided the Salvaleon residence in Barangay Malagana.
But Salvaleon-Abrogar said her mother and brother were not guilty as the firearms and ammunition were not taken from their possession, but from the members of the paramilitary and security personnel.
Police said arrested with the Salvaleons were Mario Pagara, 49, married; and Christopher Pagara, 39, married. They were said to be the family’s security personnel.
Six other persons were arrested with them, and were believed to members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu).
The operation was carried out on the strength of two search warrants for violation of Republic Acts 10591 and 9516, at Purok 2, Centro, Barangay Malagana, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
Seized from the suspects were three loaded caliber .45 pistols, two M14 rifles, four M16 rifles, a KG9 submachine gun, and hundreds of live ammunition.
Police said the younger Salvaleon is the leader of the Salvaleon Group allegedly involved in land grabbing. (davaotoday.com)