PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) agents on Thursday arrested the vice-mayor of San Isidro, Leyte for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, PNP-CIDG director Major General Albert Ignatius D. Ferro said.
In a report to PNP chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, the official said Vice Mayor Isidro Balmoria is now facing criminal charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
The raid was launched in line with the ongoing PNP crackdown against loose firearms and partisan armed groups which may be used to sow violence in the forthcoming 2022 presidential and national elections.
According to Ferro, the local government official was arrested inside his residence in Sitio Baras in Bgy. Matungao in San Isidro which was raided by CIDG Region 8 operatives with the help of the local police past 8 a.m. Thursday.
The operation was conducted on the strength of a search warrant for violation of RA 10591 issued by Judge Manasseh Bastes of the Calubian, Leyte Regional Trial Court Branch 11.
Recovered during the search were one caliber .45 pistol, a cal. .38 revolver, one cal. .380 semi-automatic pistol, eight different magazines, 176 rounds of assorted live ammunition, a cal. .45 barrel and a .45 silencer.
Ferro said the raid was witnessed by local barangay officials and conducted by CIDG agents who were equipped with body-worn cameras.
“Walang masama sa pagmamay-ari ng iba’t ibang klase ng baril, siguraduhin lamang ninyo na kayo ay lisensyado at may pahintulot na magmay-ari at magdala nito. Failure on your part to possess these firearms legally will mean that the CIDG and other law enforcers have the grounds to hold you accountable for loose firearms violations,” Ferro said.