FIVE men, three of them village chiefs, were arrested by agents of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, PNP-CIDG director Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. said yesterday.
“This is part of our stepped-up effort to account for more illegal guns that can be used to commit violence in the streets, particularly during the October 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections,” the PNP-CIDG chief said.
In a report to PNP chief Gen. Benjamin C. Acorda Jr., the official said that the suspects were arrested in separate anti-crime raids in Cagayan Valley conducted by his men on the strength of five search warrants for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
The search warrants were issued by Ilagan, Isabela Executive Judge Andrew Barcena.
Caramat said that target of the raids were the suspects from Sto. Tomas, Isabela who have been monitored to be keeping illegal firearms.
The official said that one of the suspects identified as Eduardo Talaue Jr., the chairman of Bgy. Centro Poblacion, yielded a 12-gauge shotgun with 16 live ammunition, and a cal. .45 pistol with magazine containing three bullets.
Francis Mamauag, the incumbent chairman of Bgy. San Roque, yielded an unlicensed cal. .45 pistol with magazine loaded with seven live ammunition.
The third suspect, Jimmy Paeste Jr., the chairman of Bgy. Colungaun was found in possession of a cal. 5.56 M-16 automatic rifle with magazine containing 30 live ammunition and a cal. .45 pistol with three stainless magazines.
The fourth identified as Jayson Paeste yielded an M-16A1 automatic rifle with five magazines containing 182 bullets, a cal. .45 magazine with six live ammunition, and 49 cal. 9mm bullets.
Caramat said that while his men were searching the residence of the Paestes, Joey Asco introduced himself as a security guard of the target. Asco was also placed under arrest when he failed to present pertinent documents for a cal. .45 pistol with two magazines containing 27 live ammunition.
Meanwhile, Ricky Bautista of Bgy. Poblacion voluntarily turned over to the CIDG operatives a cal. .45 pistol with magazine loaded with nine bullets.
According to Caramat, all arrested suspects will be facing criminal charges for violation of RA 10591 and are now under the custody of the CIDG Regional Field Unit 2.