A COUPLE allegedly supplying firearms and ammunitions to local terrorist groups in Mindanao as well as to rouge politicians was arrested in Valenzuela City on Sunday evening, December 16, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde said on Monday.
Albayalde identified the arrested couple as Edgardo and Rosemarie Medel, residents of Landville Subdivision, Barangay Pambuan, Gapan, Nueva Ecija.
Albayalde said the couple had agreed to sell P1.2 million worth of firearms and ammunitions to a police officer who posed as a buyer.
The meet-up was scheduled at around 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 16, at a gasoline station along the North Luzon Expressway. The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Regional Special Operations Unit conducted the operation.
Seized during the operation were two assault rifles, a handgun and 12,893 rounds of live ammunition for M-60 light machinegun and M-16 assault rifle.
Albayalde said the operation stemmed from an intelligence information provided by the PNP units in Mindanao regarding arms sales provided by a civilian informant.
“Further intelligence research revealed that Medel also figured in previous arms transaction with buyers from Mindanao. A subsequent test buy was conducted wherein NCRPO operatives were able to obtain ammunition from Medel, who also assured the he can also supply as many as 10 rifles,” he said.
Albayalde said their initial investigation showed that among the couple’s clients were the Maute terrorists, the Abu Sayyaf Group and politicians who use arms to gain advantage over their competitors.
“I just cannot imagine the death and destruction that will result should these war materials fall into the hands of the New People’s Army, Abu Sayyaf Group, and terror groups,” said Albayalde.
“Part of the continuing investigation will be to determine the source of these weapons and ammunition and to possibly identify other persons involved in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he added.
As the sole repository and regulating office for firearms and ammunition under Republic Act 10591, this contraband, will eventually become among confiscated, captured, surrendered, deposited, abandoned and forfeited (CCSDAF) firearms in PNP custody. (SunStar Philippines)