NBI nabs 2 Lapu village chiefs in firing range raid
Several persons, including two barangay captains in Lapu-Lapu City, were arrested while government-owned ammunition were seized when agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) raided a firing range in barangay Suba-Basbas last Saturday night.
Arrested were Suba-Basbas barangay captain Joselito Tibon and Mactan barangay captain Evaristo A. Dihayco Jr.
Also arrested were: Rizon Mario Regalado, a councilman in Mactan; Alex Amodia, a councilman in Suba-Basbas; Kokoshi Isiwara, Japanese manager of Target Zero Range; Federico Malingin Jr. and Lord Francis Sam Rizon.
The raid was made after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sought the help of the NBI-7 to track down missing government-owned bullets.
“Several weeks din kaming nag-surveillance dyan matapos na nagpatulong sa amin ang AFP regarding sa mga nawawalang mga government arsenal (It took us several weeks of surveillance after the AFP sought help from NBI over missing government arsenal),” Eric Isidoro, assistant regional director of NBI-7, told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
The arrested persons were drinking while having a firing session when NBI agents swooped in.
Isidoro said no one resisted arrest.
NBI made the arrest when the people in the firing range failed to show proof that the guns they used were licensed, said Isidoro.
Isidoro said 14 pieces of assorted firearms were seized as well as 2,500 government-issued bullets.
According to the latest inventory of the AFP, there are 200,000 missing government-owned ammunition.
Isidoro said the raiding team found boxes of bullets for M-14, M-16 and M60 machine guns at the firing range.
The boxes had marks showing the bullets were government-issued.
Isidoro said charges of illegal possession of firearms will be filed against the arrested persons.
Anti-graft charges will also be filed against AFP personnel, Isidoro said.
Isidoro warned that people caught selling government-owned bullets will face charges.
“Mura lang kasi ito pag nakuha nila sa mga firing ranges dahil kalahati ang presyo nito than the commercial ammunition (Bullets are cheaper if bought from firing ranges because they are sold at half the commercial price),” Isidoro said.
The NBI-7 official added that the proliferation of government-owned bullets poses danger.
“Ok lang siguro kung sa range lang ito pinuputok, eh paano na kung ito ay mapunta o maibenta doon sa mga rebelde o mga robbery group?” said Isidoro. (It’s probably okay if these bullets are used in firing ranges, but what happens if these go to rebels or robbery groups?” said Isidoro.
Isidoro is urging those who possess government-owned arsenal to surrender them lest they face charges.
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