Arms cache seized from Dimaporo-A A +A
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
CAGAYAN DE ORO (Updated) - The vice mayor of Pantao Ragat, Lanao del Norte is facing illegal possession of firearms charges after government troops seized from his house high-powered guns and ammunition Wednesday.
Senior Superintendent Ronnie Francis Cariaga, Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao spokesperson, said the loose firearms were recovered Wednesday dawn in a raid at the house of Pantao Ragat Vice Mayor Lacson Mangotara Lantud, whose wife is the town mayor.
Cariaga said they will file charges against Lantud for violating Presidential Decree 1866 as amended by Republic Act 8294 or the Firearms Law of 1997.
“We will still determine if the firearms have license or ug kung asa nakarehistro. The CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) have to determine also kung kinsa pa ang puwede makasohan,” he said.
He said the vice mayor was not around when authorities served the search warrant around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Lantud’s wife, incumbent Mayor Eleanor Dimaporo, was the one who received the search warrant in the presence of some barangay officials as witnesses.
Authorities found an M60 MG, six M203 grenade launchers, two M79 grenade launchers, nine M14 rifles, two M16 rifles, 14 garand rifles, six short handguns, assorted ammunition and a bar.
The seized firearms were brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory Office for further examination. Mayor Dimaporo was brought Wednesday to the PNP headquarters in Camp Alagar for questioning.
Cariaga said the drive against loose firearms is in line with the PNP’s efforts to secure the May 2013 midterm elections.
The PNP said the election gun ban, which started last January 13, has led to the recovery of 801 firearms, 29 grenades, 165 other explosives, and 220 bladed and pointed weapons.
The gun ban has also led to the arrest of 864 violators, 779 of which are civilians.
The arrested violators also included 11 government employees, 53 security guards, a militiaman, 12 police, five military, and a fire bureau employee.
In Tacloban City in Leyte province, two riding-in-tandem suspects possessing a revolver and a bladed weapon were recently arrested by cops manning a checkpoint.
Also seized from the suspects were 10 heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected shabu.
"The establishment of Comelec checkpoints are proven effective not only in the implementation of the gun ban but also in the campaign against all forms of illegal activities like dangerous drugs possession," said Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria, Eastern Visayas Police Regional Office director. (With Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)