TWO village officials of Opol, Misamis Oriental were arrested by police authorities for illegal possession of high powered guns, explosives, and ammunition, Tuesday, February 7, at Tuburan village, Cagayan de Oro City.
Authorities identified the suspects as Epimaco Sacalon, 42, and Michael Talampas, 32, both chairman and councilman of Cauyonan village, Opol town, respectively.
Police Station 8 Chief Dennis Ebsolo said the police were patrolling in the said village when they intercepted the two suspects carrying the said firearms and explosives.
Recovered from the suspects' possession were one caliber 45 pistol with six live ammos, one M79 grenade launcher with 11 live 40mm grenade and steel magazines of 45 pistol, and one live ammo of cal.22.
“Ingon si kapitan nga iya daw napalit ang mga armas sa iyang amigo nga wala niya gibutyag ang pangalan. Pero dili man ka kapalit anang M79 sa bisan asa nga gun store (The village chairman said he bought the firearms from his friend whom he didn’t mention the name. But one cannot buy a M79 in any gun store),” Ebsolo added.
He said they arrested the suspects after the two failed to provide documents to prove that the seized firearms were legal.
Ebsolo said according to the suspects, they were carrying the guns for protection against armed men like the New Peoples' Army (NPA) in the village.
“Daghan daw NPA sa ilang lugar mao nagdala sila og armas (There are several NPA rebels in their place that’s why they were carrying firearms),” he said.
The police are also coordinating with the Opol town police to determine whether the suspects have other illegal activities or complaints against them.
Ebsolo said charges on illegal possession of explosives and violation of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act were filed against the suspects on Wednesday.