Former Bulacan town vice mayor arrested after 20-hour standoff

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Former Marilao Vice Mayor Andre Santos is now in police custody after resisting arrest and barricading himself inside his house. He is facing charge of qualified theft for allegedly stealing at least P10 million.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 8) — A former Bulacan town vice mayor has been arrested on Friday after nearly twenty hours of standoff with authorities.

Former Marilao Vice Mayor Andre Santos, a mayoral candidate for the May 2019 elections, is now in police custody after resisting arrest and barricading himself inside his house.

Santos is facing charge of qualified theft for allegedly stealing at least ₱10 million. The charge was filed by the son of gambling consultant Charlie Atong Ang, his brother in law, and a casino partner in Parañaque City.

Special Weapons and Tactics officers raided Santos' home, following failed attempts to bring him to face arrest.

Authorities also lobbed tear gas into his second-floor bedroom and fired warning shots to flush him out.

"Kagabi pa 'yan nag-start, mga alas otso. Umabot tayo ng ano dahil pinipilit natin siyang to give up peacefully," Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, Bulacan Police provincial director, said.

[Translation: It started at around 8:00 last night. It lasted long because we asked him to surrender peacefully.]

Police recovered two handguns, several pieces of live ammunition, and a grenade from Santos' home.

He was brought to Camp Alejo Santos in Malolos, Bulacan Friday evening.

When asked why he resisted arrest, Santos only said, "Ang pinaglalaban ko boss 'yung bagong sistema, isang tao lang makakagawa nito, ang kriminal na may puso."

[Translation: What I'm fighting for is a new system, and only one person can do it--a criminal with a heart.]

Police are also exploring the possibility that Santos may have been using illegal drugs and is emotionally disturbed.

"According na rin sa family, gusto na nilang ipa-rehab, so definitely, parang, gumagamit talaga siya." Bersaluna said.

[Translation: His family said they have been wanting to send him to rehab, so it seems he is really using illegal drugs.]