A CHINESE-FILIPINO businessman was arrested after several spent bullets and live ammunition of high-powered guns were seized from his junk shop at V. Castro Street, Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City, Thursday night, August 10.
Armed with a search warrant issued by a local court, police operatives led by City Intelligence Unit (CIU) head Chief Inspector Ariel Philip Pontillas raided the junk shop owned by the 31-year-old suspect Jay Tan.
Confiscated from Tan were 13 rounds of 7.62mm bullets; 23 rounds of 5.56mm live ammo; 15 rounds of caliber .50 ammo; five pieces short magazine of M16; one long magazine of M16; two sacks empty shells of caliber .50; and 129 pieces spent shells of 40mm; and various belt and links of the said ammunition.
Pontillas said the seized high powered bullets were both class A and B.
"Ang class A below 5.56 (millimeters), ang class B kanang pang anti-aircraft ammunition," Pontillas said.
Pontilla said the suspect is running a scrap trading business and has been in the city for 10 years.
The suspect has denied having knowledge of the spent and live ammunition seized from the junk shop.
"Ang iyang sulti nga wala siya kabalo nga naay nakasulod nga mga bala kay iyang ingon naa may gabaligya og mga scrap materials sa iya," Pontillas said.
But the CIU chief said that according to their informant, the suspect knew that said bullets were being stored inside the junk shop.
Pontillas said the informant told them that a group of Maranao-speaking men onboard a black vehicle had brought the items to the said warehouse.
"Basi sa among informant, kabalo siya (suspect) nga naay mga bala kay nahulog man to unya gikuha sa among informant unya nasuko siya ngano gikuha. Ang tubag sa informant nga souvenir lang daw," Pontillas said.
Pontillas added that based on their informant, it's not the first time that the bullets were brought to the junk shop and stored in Tan's warehouse.
Authorities are suspecting that the items came from the cities of Marawi and Iligan; and according to the information they received, these will be transported to Davao City and its neighboring areas via Cagayan de Oro.
Pontillas said the information is still subject for validation.
Pontillas added they will be digging deeper on how the bullets were stocked in the warehouse as they are establishing the possible links of the suspect to criminal groups.
He said the workers of the warehouse will also be subjected for investigation.
"Imbestigahan pud nato ang mga trabahante sa sulod nga pulos mga Muslim kay posible katong gabaligya or gahatod sa mga bala naay connection sa mga trabahante,"Pontilla said.
The suspect is facing charges for illegal possession of ammunition.
Pontillas said the charges are bailable and the suspect has already filed a motion to bail.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 12, 2017.