Police link slain barangay chair to NPA

THE Davao City Police Office chief claims the slain barangay captain of Pangyan in Calinan District, Davao City, was a supporter of the New People’s Army (NPA).

DCPO director Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum said Monday, May 14, that they received information that the late barangay captain Antonio Pardillas Guatno allowed rebels to hide guns in his residence in Calinan.

“Primarily, may mga validated information kami na some of his relatives ay member ng New People’s Army (NPA) at siya ‘yong pinag-iiwanan ng baril ng mga New People’s Army pag bumababa sa area ng Calinan at yon yong actually hindi naabutan ng CIDG,” Tagum said.

According to a spot report, Guatno was shot by authorities and was declared dead in the hospital after Operating Units of Crime Investigation and Detection Group RFU-Davao, CIDG 11 City Field Unit (Lead Unit), Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU 11) and Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB 11) in coordination with the Calinan Police Station served a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Emmanuel Carpio for violation of Republic Act 10591 or illegal possession of firearms.

Guatno, a re-electionist, allegedly resisted arrest prompting the officers to shoot him. Confiscated from Guatno's house were one pistol caliber .45 with serial number 361855, a magazine loaded with three live bullets and one pistol caliber 9mm with 15 bullets.

Tagum cited that Guatno was previously tagged as a high-value target by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (Pdea) 11 for his involvement in illegal drug trade but he already surrendered, thus. he was removed from the list. He also underwent drug rehabilitation program of the city, the Tabangan Atong Reformists Aron Naay Asenso (Tara Na).

“Unfortunately, may mga report na natanggap ang CIDG on possible criminal and terrorist activities considering na na-receive natin ang intelligence report that the late Captain Guatno was linked with the New People’s Army (NPA),” he said.

Asked whether it could be considered as election-related incident or merely a police operation, he said that it would be up for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct the validation.

Meanwhile, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said that she already reviewed how the operation was carried out and where the command came from.

“Chineck ko kung saan nagsimula yong operation for the implementation of search warrant for illegal possession of firearms kay barangay Captain Guatno and it turned out na it came from the national office, the Philippine National Police,” she said.

She added, “Definitely it did not come from the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) because the Calinan Police Station was informed a few hours before the implementation of the search warrant.”

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office (PRO 11) spokesperson Police Chief Inspector Milgrace Driz said that the operation was conducted in line with the Philippine National Police’s campaign against loose firearms in the wake of election.

“The directive from the higher office is to intensify our campaign against loose firearms and dismantling of PAGS if evidence warrants and the stricter implementation of Comelec Gun Ban. This is in line with our Enhanced Managing Police Operations or law enforcement operation which basically includes the application and implementation of search warrants,” Driz said.


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