Gun smuggling suspect posts bail

BUSINESSMAN Bryan Ta-ala, who is accused of gun smuggling, posted bail for his provisional liberty yesterday before the Regional Trial Court in Bacolod City, following weeks of hospital arrest.

Ta-ala’s lawyer Leon Moya said they went to the court to have the release order for his client signed by any judge, otherwise Ta-ala will be issued arrest warrant Friday.

Ta-ala is facing two counts of violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

He posted bail of P120,000 and P80,000 after which he was ordered released by Second Vice Executive Judge Philadelfa Pagapong-Agraviador.

On August 6, police arrested Ta-ala and his aide Wilford Palma during an operation of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection (PNP-CIDG) Group at Atlas, Villa Cristina Subdivision, Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City.

Confiscated from them was a package box containing smuggled gun parts from the United States with an estimated value of P4.5 million.

Palma underwent inquest proceedings before the State Prosecutor's Office at the Department of Justice on August 8 while Ta-ala was confined in a hospital in Bacolod over hypertension.

Yesterday, while Ta-ala was at the Clerk of Court Office, tension occurred after Senior Inspector Ariel Artillero, head of CIDG-Negros Occidental, supposedly kicked the door and hit one of his men, who was guarding Ta-ala at the hospital.

Moya said that Artillero insisted that he has an order from the higher command to put Ta-ala under arrest, but he cannot show them a copy of the order.

“This is purely harassment and abuse of authority,” he added.

With the issuance of the release order, Moya said Ta-ala is now a free man as he did not commit other offenses.

The lawyer appealed to the PNP higher command to relieve Artillero immediately for his behavior.

An arbitrary detention case was filed by Ta-ala's camp against Artillero after Ta-ala was handcuffed in the hospital despite the failure of the authorities to file a case against him within the 36-hour period.

Moya said they are planning to file another case against Artillero.
“We'll let you know about the case soon,” he added.

Meanwhile, Artillero refused to comment on the incident, saying he will first report the development to his immediate superior.

During a press conference in Camp Crame last September 1, Palma admitted being a member of a gun smuggling group where their "number one" customer ordered several gun parts which will allegedly be used for the assassination of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Ang sabi sa akin ng boss ko 'yung number one customer namin balak umorder ng lower end gun parts na gagamitin sa assassination ni President Duterte," he said.

The items the customer ordered according to Palma were 100 upper receiving parts, 40 barrel and 30 vault that can form 100 M-16 rifles.
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