AT LEAST three armed men who introduced themselves as government soldiers are facing charges after being arrested in a security checkpoint in Tubod, Iligan City, on Tuesday night, November 13, after they failed to show proof of their claim.
Arrested were Gilbert Pasicolan, Eleazar Tormon and Andy Pastoral who claimed to be reservists under the army's 304th Battalion.
They were held under police custody after they could not show proof of their claim even if the three are wearing military uniforms.
Authorities seized M16A1, caliber 45 pistol, bandolier, sling bag, assorted ammunition and a fragmentation grenade.
Police said the three also failed to present documents for the possession of the confiscated items.
Investigators believed the arrested suspects were members of a gun-for-hire group or a criminal gang. Police are checking the background of the suspects whether they have criminal records.
"Whether they are legitimate AFP personnel or disguised gun-for-hire, we will find out and we will file appropriate charges," Northern Mindanao police spokesperson Superintendent Surki Serenas said.
"Private armed groups and guns-for-hire are common during election period because they are being employed by politicians. But we are strengthening our operations against them with the elections fast approaching," Serenas added.
The suspects are likely to face usurpation of authority, and illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges.