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PNP-HPG collars 3 SONA gun ban violators

July 23, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 438 views

THREE men driving a “hot car” in Quezon City were arrested by agents of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) implementing a massive crackdown on “wang-wang” (sirens) users in Metro Manila after they turned out to be carrying illegal firearms in full violation of the temporary gun ban in the metropolis, PNP-HPG Director Brigadier General Rommel Francisco D. Marbil said yesterday.

“We have arrested three violators of the gun ban imposed in Metro Manila from Friday to Wednesday next week as part of the strict security measures for the 1st State of the Nation Address [SONA] of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos Jr.,” said the official in a report to PNP Officer-in-Charge (PNP-OIC) Lt. Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr.

Members of the Regional Highway Patrol Unit-National Capital Region, headed by Lt. Col. Joel L. Mendoza, were checking motorists using banned sirens and blinkers along EDSA Southbound near Panay Avenue in Quezon City at 9:30 a.m. Friday, they flagged down the driver of a Suzuki Ciaz sedan for not wearing a seatbelt and having an improvised license plate.

The RHPU-NCR Traffic Enforcement Branch team of Maj. Joselito Quila, PEMS Roldan Borromeo, PSMSgt. Emerito Mañalac and Pat. Adrine Swen Padua were visually inspecting the car and its occupants when they saw the guns inside, prompting them to place the three suspects under arrest.

Two suspects were both Catmon, Malabon City residents, while the 3rd suspect is from Sitio Sampaguita, Riverside, Commonwealth Avenue, Q.C.

Upon checking of the plate number attached to the silver 2019 model Suzuki Ciaz GL car is originally assigned to a Toyota Corolla, based on records from the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Brig. Gen. Marbil said they recovered a chamber-loaded caliber .380 Bersa semi-automatic pistol with a magazine containing ten live ammunition and a cal. .45 Colt MK IV Series 70 pistol with a magazine containing seven live ammunition.

A further search of the vehicle led to the recovery at the driver’s side of a 9mm Llama pistol with a magazine containing nine bullets. The HPG officers searched the car and frisked the suspects in the presence of personnel from the Q.C. Task Force Disiplina.

Lt. Col. Mendoza said that the car registered under the name of one “Jobeth Tongco” of Potrero, Malabon, was temporarily impounded at the RHPU-NCR compound in Camp Crame.

A record check showed it is not included in the HPG list of wanted/stolen motor vehicles, although the registered owner will face charges for illegally transferring the plate, which carries a penalty of P10,000.

LTO rules say that the license of a driver involved in the illegal transfer of plates or stickers will also be suspended for three months.

The suspects are now facing charges for violating the gun ban and Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 before the Q.C. Prosecutor’s Office.