CRIME DRIVE Cops seize firearms, ammo from village chief

An intensified anti-criminality campaign of the Police Regional Office (PRO) -11 focusing on illegal drugs, terrorism, loose firearms and internal security operations has reaped initial accomplishments.

PRO 11 Director Sr. Supt. Marcelo Morales, in a press conference held at the Camp Sgt. Quintin Merecido, Buhangin in Davao City on Monday, announced that they continue to intensify their anti-criminality campaign which began in January in relation to the forthcoming midterm election in May.

“From January to this date, we have already accounted several accomplishments on loose firearms involving incumbent local officials and former local officials,” Morales said.

On Friday, March 1, the joint forces of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion, the Regional Intelligence Division of PRO 11 and the Kapalong Municipal Police Station served search warrant no. 20-10 dated February 2019 to Barangay Captain Edgar Quilla of Mabantao, Kapalong, Davao del Norte for for violating Republic Act 10591.

Quilla was forced to yield several unlicensed guns and assorted ammunition during the police operation at around 9:00 pm.

Authorities arrested Quilla after finding one 45 caliber colt MK IV; 45-caliber Norinco 1911; six 45-caliber magazines; 47 45-caliber ammunition; 45 ammunition for 9-mm; three M16 ammunition; three 38-caliber ammunition; four 22-caliber ammunition and one 380-caliber ammunition.

Operatives also arrested Rolando Sombilom Pamat, a barangay tanod, after he was caught in the act of possessing one .38-caliber revolver loaded with seven live bullets.

Morales, however, assumed that Quilla might be an avid gun collector and is not involved in any illegal activities.

“We don’t discourage them from doing that (collecting guns), ang gusto lang namin is follow the rules and regulations, follow the law, para yung kanilang mga hawak na mga baril ay ma-rehistro at mapa lisensyahan natin.”

A case will be filed against the barangay official, who is currently placed under the custody of Kapalong Municipal Police Station, for violating RA 10591, a comprehensive law on firearms and ammunition and providing penalties for violations.

Following the latest accomplishment, PRO 11 is also conducting background checking and validation to various incumbent officials and personalities running for election. “Dahil gusto natin ng safe and secure election,” Morales underscored.

He also calls out unlicensed firearms owners to deposit their guns to police offices for safekeeping. “H’wag nyo na hintayin na mag conduct pa kami ng operation bago nyo palisensyahan unlicensed firearms.”

In related developments, the troops of 1103rd MC, Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) of PRO 11 recovered alleged improvised explosive device (IED) materials from two suspects bathing in a stream nearby Barangay Maglahus in Cateel, Davao Oriental on Sunday, March 3.