JONES, Isabela — The mayor of this violence-marred town gave up weapons registered to her late brother, Mayor Jesus Sebastian, as part of the local government drive to curb killings. Mayor Leticia Sebastian surrendered to the police on Sept. 7, three high-powered guns, a Carbine rifle with 11 bullets, an M1 Garand rifle with eight bullets and a .76 handgun, which carried expired licenses.
Sebastian was slain in the late 1990s by suspected communist rebels. Sebastian’s brother-in-law, Carlos Rustia, and municipal engineer Johnny Lazaro also gave up their weapons, among them an M-16 Armalite rifle and a .45 pistol.
They heeded Executive Order No. 21 issued by Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III to ensure peace and order in Jones, where murder cases remain unsolved. On August 25, Jones town administrator Noimi Guerrero, nephew of Mayor Sebastian, was shot dead in Barangay Uno.
On May 7, three people, including retired SPO4 Arthur Anunciacion, were killed by 15 armed men who attacked and wounded the sister of a mayoralty bet in Namnama village. On April 13, Vice Mayor Ronaldo Lucas was killed by alleged rebels, followed by the shooting death of council Obet Heinrich Apostol on April 14.