THE incumbent mayor of Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte, and four of his security escorts were arrested in a checkpoint near the Ozamiz City seaport for illegal possession of guns, bullets, and explosives over the weekend.
Kolambugan Mayor Lorenzo Mañigos and his drivers and security escorts identified as Nestor Kilat, Noel Tabamo, Mario Glodove, and Dicky Doroja were arrested before boarding a ferry bound for Mukas port in Kolambugan.
Senior Inspector Julie Ann Garcia, spokesperson of Misamis Occidental provincial police office, said the suspects came from the Ozamiz airport and were on their way back to their town.
"Palabas sila ng Ozamis galing sila ng airport daw. Di pa natin nakuha ang report kung saan talaga galing si mayor (They were going out of Ozamiz from the airport. We still don't have the report on where the mayor came from)," Garcia said.
Authorities subjected the Toyota Hilux vehicle boarded by the mayor and his security personnel into inspection where firearms, ammunition and explosives were eventually seized.
Seized from the possession of Mañigos' escorts were two caliber 9mm and two caliber 45 pistols and several live ammunition.
Authorities also confiscated two pieces M67 fragmentation hand grenade, an MK2 hand grenade fragmentation and a 12-inch long dagger upon the conduct of full search of the vehicle.
Police said the Acknowledgement Receipts for Equipment presented by the suspects, which was issued by Mañigos and attested by Chief Inspector Junberth Dahili, chief of Kolambugan town police and First Lieutenant Esperidion Dagumo of 31st Infantry Division, Philippine Army, is said to be inappropriate and a violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Authorities said all the firearms seized have expired licenses and suspects failed to show their respective License to Own and Possess Firearms.
The suspects also failed to present Long Certificate of Title issued to the Municipality of Kolambugan and Short Certificate of Title of the Firearms issued to the security escorts.
All seized evidences and the impounded vehicle were under the custody of the Ozamiz City police.
The suspects were detained at the jail facility of the Ozamiz City Police Office and will face charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal possession of explosives. (SunStar Cagayan de Oro)
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 22, 2017.