Photo from Rowena Codilla's Facebook Page
LEYTE, Philippines – The Philippine military apprehended about 30 men and arrested at least one of them in Kananga town, Leyte at 1 am on Sunday, May 12.
This was confirmed by 802nd Brigade General Lope Dagoy in a phone interview with Rappler.
“Kaduda-duda na gabing-gabi, nandoon sila sa isang lugar. Now what is revealing, ay yung kasamahan nila na may baril. Alam naman nila na eleksyon period tayo. So, yung isang kasama ng mga tauhan ng kabilang partido, sa mga Codilla, nakunan ito ng .45 pistol,” Dagoy said.
(It’s suspicious that they were all in one place in the middle of the night. Now, what was revealing, was their companion who had a pistol. They knew that we are in the middle of the election period. So, one of the men of the other party, those of the Codillas, were found out to be in possession of a .45 caliber pistol.)
The man in possession of a pistol was identified by the Kananga Police as Aurelio Dumlanos, 55, a former village tanod in Brgy. Rizal of Kananga town. Dumlanos is now under the custody of Kananga police.
Gen. Dagoy told Rappler the other men were released due to lack of evidence.
In a Facebook post, the Gomez camp alleged that the Army arrested “38 armed goons of Eming and Winnie Codilla.”
Ormoc City mayoral reelectionist Richard Gomez told Rappler that he "spoke to Gen. Dagoy at 3 am" to confirm the content of the post.
Winnie Codilla is running for the congressional post against incumbent 4th District Representative Lucy Marie Torres-Gomez while Eming Codilla is a vice mayoral reelectionist in Kananga, Leyte. (READ: Leyte's 4th district: Will the Torres-Gomez clan take the last Codilla bailiwick?)
Kananga, Leyte Mayoral reelectionist Rowena “Weng” Codilla is the wife of Eming Codilla.
Responding to the post, Rowena Codilla debunked Gomez camp's claim on social media and said that only one has been arrested.
“So the people of Kananga and the 4th District of Leyte will not be misled by fake news, I would like to clarify what really happened during the alleged arrest…. The real story, based on the police record and with the presence of Gen. Lope Dagoy is that only 1 man was arrested and not 38 as is being falsely circulated in social media…”
Gen. Dagoy confirmed Gomez’s claim that the group is connected to Codilla's camp, “Oo. Confirmed yun. Kasi pumunta sila sa, kinakausap nila ako. Sabi ko, ‘Doon na lang sa presinto.’… Si Weng at si Eming, doon kami nagkita sa presinto ng Albuera… Mga tao nila, precisely, nandoon sila. Tinitingnan nila, syempre, kung ano ang sitwasyon ng mga tao nila.”
(Yes. That’s confirmed. Because they went to, they spoke to me. I told them, “Let’s do this at the police station.”… It was Weng and Eming, we met at the Albuera police station… Those were their men, precisely, they were there. They were chekcing, of course, what the situation was for their men.) – Rappler.com
Marthy John Lubiano is a Rappler lead mover in Palompon, Leyte. He is a graduating Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of Palompon Institute of Technology and is the Executive Editor of Fulcrum.