High-powered guns seized from ex-soldier, 9 others

MANILA -- Several high-powered weapons, explosives, and ammunition were seized from 10 arrested persons including a former military member after a mining site in Zamboanga Del Sur was raided by authorities over the weekend.

Police Senior Superintendent Edgar Danao of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Zamboanga Peninsula said operatives raided 10 huts in the mining site of Tinago Area, Barangay Depore, Bayog where retired soldier Avelino Penniz, 50, was also nabbed.

Danao identified the other suspects, who were mostly from Zamboanga Sibugay province, as Tirso Calderon, Christopher Umpad, Marcial Pinero, Pelmar Villaluz, Arjay Cuer, Alberto Llamos, Ronald Cariaga, Esidro Cuardra, and Camilo Calunsag.

However, the operators of the mining site identified as Julieto Monding and Rosalyn Paquit were not present during the raid last October 12.

Seized from the possession of the arrested suspects were various high-powered firearms and explosives including four shotguns, a machine pistol, an armalite rifle, three grenades, and four sacks of commercial dynamite.

Also confiscated were 437 kilos of cyanide and at least 73 sacks of other chemicals used for explosives.

Danao said 10 search warrants for illegal possession of firearms and violation of Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990 were earlier served at the Tinago Area.

Danao added that the said raided area is a thriving place for small mining activities. It also has a high crime incidence as the CIDG recorded 15 cases of firearms-related murders. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)

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