Bullets for profit

July 09,2015 - 07:07 AM

editorial

With the filing of candidacies in October, Lapu-Lapu City residents should monitor how Mayor Paz Radaza deals with two barangay chairmen who were arrested along with three barangay councilmen by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on charges of illegal  possession of firearms.

The gun range in barangay Suba-Basbas owned by a Japanese national was found to be using  government-issued bullets.

A complaint of the  Air Force  prompted a closer look at the loss of government bullets for  M14, M16 and M60 machine guns.

Apparently someone was making a pile of money on the blackmarket.

A top military official is reportedly offering the bullets at cost to interested buyers, based on initial NBI findings.

The NBI raid  resulted in the arrest of the owner  Kokushi Hirasawa,  the local range officer Renee Mabilog, Suba-Basbas barangay chairman Joselito Tibon and his  councilman Alex Amodia, Mactan barangay chairman Evaristo Dejayco Jr. and his two barangay councilmen Mario Rizon and Federico Malingin and friend Lord Francis Sam Rizon.

Authorities seized about 2,500 bullets and  two unlicensed guns used by the barangay chiefs.  Dejayco claimed he was authorized to use a gun because he’s a  police asset.

He claimed to be a member of the Civilian Intelligence Service, but had yet to  secure documents authorizing him  by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Tibon  said he wasn’t aware his gun wasn’t covered by documents by the  Lapu-Lapu City Hall’s General Services Office (GSO). (His ignorance doesn’t excuse him.)

The idea of  barangay officials carrying guns to patrol their neighborhoods is unsettling enough.

News that military personnel   are selling government-issued bullets in Cebu is both alarming and condemnable.  How far did the connivance go?

Much has been said about how soldiers sent to the front lines of war  against insurgents in the deep south of Mindanao got killed because they lacked bullets and other equipment needed to finish their missions.

But when the “price is right” bullets and weapons can find their way into the hands  of public officials and their bodyguards or friends for recreational use.   Or to crime groups and private armies.

What kind of profile does the two arrested barangay captains fill?

We hope Mayor Radaza  doesn’t tolerate their offenses  or intercede for their release. Let the law take its course in their cases.

The business permit of the firing range is something within her control as well.

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TAGS: Bullets for profit, CDN Editorial, Cebu Daily News, Editorial, government-issued bullets, Mayor Paz Radaza, National Bureau of Investigation, NBI

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