SEVEN active members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and 12 retired generals are facing possible charges over the missing high-powered firearms, which were found to have ended up in the hands of the New People's Army (NPA) in Mindanao, a police official said Thursday.
In a media briefing, Police Director Benjamin Magalong, director of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said that aside from the 19 PNP personnel, 10 private individuals are also facing possible charges for selling the missing cache of firearms to the NPA rebels, mostly in the Caraga region and Western Mindanao.
Among those to be charged are Chief Superintendents Raul Petrasanta, the PNP director in Central Luzon and is believed to be the next PNP chief and Regino Catiis, an active official of the national police agency, Directors Napoleon Estilles and Gil Meneses, who are both nearly to retire and retired police chief superintendent Thomas Rentoy.
Magalong said investigation revealed that PNP members allegedly involved in the illegal activity used a middle man named Isidro Lozada, a private businessman, who transacts business with the NPA.
"Pick-upin niya 'yung mga firearms doon sa tindahan ng Twin Pines doon sa Butuan City tapos kokontakin na niya (Lozada) 'yung mga NPA. Mag-uusap na sila kung saan delivery point at very casual lang yung delivery ng mga firearms. Parang naglilipat lang sya ng bagahe," he said.
Magalong said they also asked the PNP regional offices to turn over to them firearms that were captured during encounters with NPA rebels.
Of the 44 AK-47 rifles, which were turned over by the military, five were identified as part of the missing firearms from PNP headquarters.
In 2013, it was discovered that 1,004 firearms were missing from the PNP Firearms and Explosives Division (FEO).
Magalong said 49 of them was already retrieved. He said each firearm were sold for P52,000, the CIDG director said.
President Benigno Aquino III also ordered the PNP to find the missing firearms.
Magalong said they are still conducting further investigation to identify the responsible individuals.
"We will make sure that all those who were found liable will be charged," he added. (Sunnex)