AUTHORITIES intercepted several firearms inside a passenger bus from Leyte, while two suspected terrorists were invited for questioning, at the Task Force Davao (TFD) checkpoint at Sitio Licanan, Lasang, Davao City.
The bus conductor, however, claimed they have one passenger who did not return after they were all made to disembark at the Task Force Davao checkpoint.
According to Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Police Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum, around 9 a.m., Monday, August 21, security forces who were manning the checkpoint were alarmed after their two K9s sat down at the baggage compartment while conducting security inspection in the bus.
Based on the initial investigation, the bus of Bachelor Express came from Tacloban City, Leyte, and upon further inspection, authorities discovered an Ingram Machine Pistol, seven .45 pistols with nine magazines, and cache of high-powered firearms hidden inside a black bag.
Tagum added that all the passengers onboard the bus were subjected to investigation and they are supervising the investigation of Bunawan Police Station along with TFD.
"We are investigating the bus conductor and the 27 passengers," he said.
Upon interrogation by security forces with the conductor of the bus, he disclosed that the bag was initially loaded in the cargo container area beneath the bus in Leyte.
Tagum said they are analyzing close circuit television (CCTV) footage to check on the passengers who disembarked.
He also said that the two additional persons of interest (POIs) who triggered their Facial Recognition Device are now being interrogated by the intelligence unit for possible connection to a terrorist group.
Contrary to reports, Tagum clarified that there was no improvised explosive device found along with the firearms.
With the implementation of Martial Law, all permits to carry firearms outside one's residence are suspended except for the law enforcers who are conducting their official duties.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 22, 2017.
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