Cop nabbed for illegal guns freed

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

KIDAPAWAN CITY -- A policeman who was arrested for carrying unlicensed firearms was released after the local court granted him temporary liberty Tuesday.

Judge Rogelio Naresma of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 23 issued the release order after relatives of Senior Inspector Erwin Tabora, operations section chief of the North Cotabato Police, posted P104,000 bail.

It took more than an hour before Tabora was released by police manning the detention cell of the Kidapawan City Police.


Pinky Lidasan, a relative of Tabora's, was able to get the release order around 4 p.m. but the jailed policeman was freed around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Lidasan later found out that Cotabato Provincial Police Director Cornelio Salinas, wanted to restrict Tabora and place him under the custody of the provincial police office.

Salinas, through his deputy, Sr. Supt. Renato Hiso, told City Police Director Chino Mamburam that they are preparing other criminal and administrative charges against Tabora.

Despite Salinas's instruction, Tabora was released from jail.

The cop refused to be placed under restriction at the provincial headquarters at Amas complex as it is not a neutral ground.

Tabora, a bemedaled police officer, was charged with illegal possession of firearms for allegedly carrying two unlicensed caliber .45 pistols after a drama that led him to point one of his pistols at Salinas.

Prior to the incident, reports circulated within the office that Salinas's issued M16 Armalite rifle was missing.

Salinas discovered his Armalite was missing on Dec. 28, reports said, and that Tabora was among the suspects.

Last Monday, Tabora went to confront Salinas, but was instead found in possession of the "missing" rifle.

He told his provincial director he had no intention of stealing the Armalite, saying he just took the gun for safekeeping because he just found it lying around. It took him a while to bring it back because of the long holiday break, he added.

In the midst of their discussion, a heated argument ensued, which led Tabora to get one of his pistols and point it at Salinas.

But before he could pull the trigger, Salinas's men quickly snatched the gun from him.

Insp. Joyce Birrey, spokesperson of the North Cotabato Police, said that aside from the illegal possession of firearms case, Tabora will also undergo investigation for other criminal and administrative complaints that Salinas is set to file against him. (MCM)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 13, 2011.

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