PNP charges 3 suspects in ammo smuggling

AUTHORITIES have charged the consignee, shipper, and buyer of the 8,000 rounds of high powered ammunition seized at a warehouse in Camaman-an, Cagayan de Oro City last June 23, with violations of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act (RA 10591).

Police charged the consignee Emmanuel Bacoy alias Arturo Orias; shipper Brando Ratilla alias Junrel Langcoy; Shokri Balindong as direct buyer; two unidentified financiers (john does) and another person who was supposed to pick up the package at the cargo forwarder warehouse.

Police earlier said the bullets placed in tightly sealed boxes consisting of 6,000 pieces of 5.56mm bullets and another 2,000 of .30 caliber ammunition arrived in April, a month before the Marawi siege.

READ: 8,000 rounds of ammo seized in Oro

The ammunition, worth some P.5 million, were mis-declared and were supposed to be delivered in the war-stricken city.

Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), said it was Bacoy who surfaced and surrendered at the Martial Law Special Action Group (MLSAG) last June 26.

Hortillosa said Bacoy has been transferred to the city jail in Lumbia village after the charges were filed in court.

READ: Ammunition ‘middle man’ to face criminal raps

"Ang kaso sa iya is dili illegal possession kundili procurement kay wala man sa iyang possession ang mga bala pero it falls sa RA 10591," Hortillosa said.

"Si Bacoy tong nag-surrender nga kuno taxi driver siya ug maoy mo-pick up pero siya ang consignee and lahi pud ning isa ka unidentified nga mao gayud ang mo pick-up sa items," Hortillosa added.

Hortillosa said the intelligence community are investigating the background of other personalities involved in the case including the buyer and the financiers.

"Kanang uban mga personalities mao nay giingon sa nag surrender. Gisuta pa nato unsa ilang background nila," Hortillosa said.

The police official urged these personalities to appear and answer the charges.

The seized Armscor bullets which have markings "Arsenal DND" on the boxes are still in the custody of Cocpo.

Authorities earlier said that although the boxes have what appears to be government marking does not necessarily mean that the bullets were pilfered from the government.

"Ang mga bala naa pa sa atong custody kay ebidensya mani," the spokesperson said.

"Mas maayo magpakita na kining mga gikasuhan para matubag nila ang kaso kay padal-an man pud sila summon to submit their affidavits ug pagdili sila motubag mogawas man ang warrant sa ila," Hortillosa added.
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