AT LEAST six persons were arrested in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental over the weekend as police continued their intensified drive against the proliferation of loose and illegal firearms.
The latest to fall was identified as Erwin Masaba Esguerra, 46, a resident of Mansalanao in La Castellana, Negros Occidental.
A report from the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (Noppo) stated that Esguerra was arrested during a police checkpoint along the national highway in Barangay Linothangan around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, September 1.
Confiscated from the suspect were a caliber .45 pistol, 14 rounds of live ammunition of caliber .45 pistol, one magazine, and one Honda XRM 125 motorcycle without a plate.
In separate operations Friday, August 30, the Canlaon City police also arrested five other suspects for alleged illegal possession of firearms and ammunition via the service of search warrants.
They were identified as Aldrin Estilloso Bellesa, 47, of Sitio Inayawan, Barangay Linothangan; John Mark Flores Ballao, 29, resident of Sitio Mananawin, Barangay Masulog; Lencio Necesito Deles, also of Masulog; and Julesis Estilloso Bellesa and Ferdinand Estilloso Bellesa, both residents of Sitio Inayawan, Barangay Linothangan, all in Canlaon City.
Confiscated from Aldrin Bellesa were a caliber .45 pistol, four magazines and 41 rounds of live ammunition for the same caliber, one inside holster, one magazine pouch, assorted identification cards, and a belt bag.
From Ballao, the operatives seized one caliber .45 pistol, one magazine with seven rounds of live ammunition of the same caliber, a black holster, and one Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) letter order.
Deles yielded one caliber .45 pistol, one magazine with seven rounds of live ammunition, one black holster and two pieces of identification cards bearing the logo of the CIDG.
Police recovered from Julesis Bellesa one caliber .357 revolver without serial number, five rounds of live ammunition for caliber .38 revolver, and a sling bag.
Seized from Ferdinand Bellesa were one caliber .45 pistol, one magazine, 15 rounds of live ammunition and a sling bag.
Noppo spokesperson Chief Master Sergeant Edilberto Euraoba III said the Canlaon City Police Station, CIDG and the Provincial Intelligence Branch of Noppo carried out the operations.
He said it was the third round of the so-called Synchronized Managing of Police Operations (Sempo), which was carried out in Negros Oriental last March and in December 2018.
The first two Sempo operations in Negros Oriental that focused on illegal/loose firearms in Negros Oriental were undertaken by the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas, with a number of the subjects of the search warrants killed for allegedly resisting arrest and engaging the police officers in an exchange of fire. (PNA)