High-powered firearms, explosives seized from chief tanod in Balamban town
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Law enforcers here arrested a chief tanod (village watchman) in Balamban town on Saturday, December 12, 2020, for the illegal possession of high-powered firearms and explosives.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Cebu province (CIDG-Cebu) served a search warrant against Prudencio Baculi Jr., 51, in his residence in Barangay Lamesa, Balamban in western Cebu on Saturday morning.
Police Major Ronald Tolosa Jr., deputy for operations of CIDG-Cebu, confirmed in a phone interview that their operation led to the confiscation of long-firearms that included M16, KG9, and Carbine rifles; live ammunition; and a hand grenade from Baculi’s home.
Tolosa said that they also found out that Baculi lacked documents and licenses to prove that he legally owns these weapons and explosives.
The latter will be facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, the police officer added.
“Since we found out that he does not have any licenses and papers to show that he lawfully owned the guns and explosives, we arrested him and brought him to the Balamban Police Station where he is currently detained,” said Tolosa in Cebuano.
Tolosa said the search warrant against Baculi was issued by Judge Ruben Altubar of Branch 29 of the Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC).
CIDG-Cebu province applied for the issuance of a search warrant following reports on the sighting of men in Barangay Lamesa, a hinterland village in Balamban, who are said to be brandishing their long firearms while in civilian clothes.
“But just recently, we received information from a concerned citizen that clearly identified him (Baculi) as one of those men. We pursued it and after weeks of monitoring his activities, we were able to apply for a search warrant,” Tolosa explained.
The CIDG-Cebu official, however, said that they continue to investigate to identify the source of Baculi’s firearms and explosives.
He said that Baculi’s firearms were also subjected to a ballistics test.
“Likewise, we are looking into the results of the ballistics tests to see if these firearms were being used before, especially in incidents involving shooting,” he added.
Balamban is a first-class municipality that borders Cebu City in the west. /dcb
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