AN EARLY morning raid made by Negros Occidental police on four residences at Barangay Tuguis in Hinigaran town led to the recovery of 10 firearms and numerous rounds of ammunition Tuesday.
Negros Occidental Police spokesman Rico Santotome Jr. said the joint operation was conducted by Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office's (Noppo) Special Operations Task Force led by Police Senior Inspector Arnold Mesias Jr.
Santotome identified those arrested as Barangay Tuguis local head Adriano Eulatic, 52; electrician Arnel Barraca, 29; and fighting cock handler Joel Selorico, 52, all residents of Hacienda Sibucao in the said barangay.
He added that former board member Angelito Colmenares was not around when the search warrant issued by Judge Ray Alan Drilon of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6-Bacolod City was served on him and the three other suspects.
Police Superintendent Armando Tubongbanua, Noppo deputy provincial director for operations, supervised the conduct of Tuesday's search and seizure operations.
Seized during the raid were two M16 armalite rifles and one caliber 22 revolver from Barraca's residence, one caliber 38 revolver with serial number 42886 owned by Eulatic, one 12-gauge shotgun, one 20-gauge shotgun and one caliber 9mm with serial number BA 007973 from the house of Selorico.
Recovered from Colmenares's residence were one M14 rifle, one caliber 22 revolver and one caliber 45 pistol with serial number 70SC11981.
Also recovered were numerous rounds of live bullets and magazine assembly of M16 rifle during the raid, said Mesias.
The raid was conducted in an orderly manner and witnessed by ABS CBN's Mitch Lipa, Dojie de Oca of RMN and Ricky Arsaga of Aksyon Radyo, as well as the respondents.
Those arrested were presented by Mesias to Noppo Director Manuel Felix at the Public Information Office of Camp Alfredo Montelibano in Barangay Estefania, Bacolod City during a press conference.
The raiding team was augmented by Noppo Intelligence operatives led by SPO2 Dandy Ilalto, Negros Occidental Provincial Public Safety Company troopers led by Police Superintendent Norberto Boston, and the Hinigaran Police led by Senior Inspector Sonny Boy Bernus.
Felix was all praises for his men for their accomplishment against loose firearms and private armed groups in the province, in line with the Philippine National Police's Integrated Transformation Program and the Action Plan: Team Negros.
Charges for violation of Republic Act 8294 or the amended Firearms Law is set to be filed against the three suspects, as well as Colmenares.