NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, Major General Vicente D. Danao Jr. on Monday said they have smashed a gun trafficking syndicate in Metro Manila following a series of operations conducted by the Southern Police District (SPD) which led to the seizure of a cache of assault rifles, live ammunition and explosives.
Danao said members of the SPD District Intelligence Division and District Special Operations Unit under Brigadier Gen. Jimili L. Macaraeg arrested two suspects during the stings in Taguig and Mandaluyong cities.
“The arrests were made in connection with our ongoing crackdown against illegal firearms which can be used to disrupt the 2022 presidential and national elections in Metro Manila and other parts of the country,” he said.
First to be arrested by the SPD team led by Lieutenant Colonel Renante Galang was Nichol John Jerusalem, 30. Danao said the suspect was arrested after he sold an assault rifle and a grenade launcher for P180,000 to an undercover officer.
The sting was conducted at the suspect’s residence at Block 17, Extension 9th Street, Barangay Katuparan in Taguig City around 8:20 p.m. last Thursday.
Recovered from the possession of the suspect were a Blackwater 5.56 assault rifle with serial numbers L564326, Bushmaster 5.56 assault rifle with serial numbers 20301404, one Dublin 12 gauge shotgun with serial nos. 1054790, one 0470TRW grenade launcher, Norinco AK4-7 assault rifle with serial no. MC-90, 11 g cal. 5.56 magazines, three AK-47 magazines, a rifle grenade, one MK2 fragmentation grenade and dozens of assorted live ammunition.
A follow-up operation around 11:30 a.m. Friday on 588 Juan Luna Streer corner Shaw Boulevard in Bgy. Concepcion, Mandaluyong City led to the arrest of 32-year old Bruce de Leon who turned out to be the suspect who managed to escape apprehension during the Taguig City operation.
Brig. Gen. Macaraeg said that recovered from the possession of de Leon were a Bushmaster assault rifle with serial nos. L090289, one cal.38 revolver with serial nos. 70875, one plastic M-16 magazine, 10 cal. 5.56 ammo boxes and 31 rounds of cal. 5.56 ammunition.
The suspect’s motorcycle with plate no. 854PZQ was impounded by the SPD.
Both suspects are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013. Jerusalem will also be charged for illegal possession of explosives which is a non-bailable offense.
Alfred Dalizon & Edd Reyes