By Jeffrey Damicog
A town mayor in Masbate and his father who is the vice mayor face are facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions before the Department of Justice (DOJ) after authorities discovered a stash of firearms and explosives in their properties.
The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Masbate Provincial Field Unit filed the complaint late Thursday afternoon against Batuan town Mayor Charmax Yuson, and his father, Vice Mayor Charlie Yuson III.
Under the complaint, the Yusons are accused of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition in violation of Section 28, paragraph (a) of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Regulation Act.
The complaint was filed after joint elements of the PNP and the Philippine Army raided the mayor’s house and his father’s beach resort in Butuan where firearms and ammunition were discovered.
The raids were conducted by virtue of a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Virgilio Macaraig of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 37.
CIDG Masbate head Chief Inspector Dave Mahilum said the operation was conducted against the Yusons after his office received information that they were in possession of unlicensed firearms.
“Meron po tayong information na natanggap na yung mag-amang Yuson ay meron mga possession na loose firearms at nagma-maintain ng private armed groups (We have information the Yusons have in their possession loose firearms and maintains armed groups),” he said.
Authorities seized from the house of the mayor an armalite rifle and a fragmentation grenade.
Authorities found in their resort an M16 Bushmaster rifle, two 12-gauge shotguns, a .45 caliber Colt pistol, three .38 caliber revolvers without serial numbers and a hand grenade.
Though the Yusons were not present during the operation, authorities arrested at the resort the vice mayor’s security guard, Jeason Clemente, 24, who was armed with a shotgun.
The PNP has already verified that only the mayor has firearms licenses and permits for a shotgun, two Glock pistols, and a UDMC S5-PVAR rifle.
Clemente underwent inquest proceedings on Thursday at the DOJ before Assistant State Prosecutor Josie Cristina Dugay for the same offense.
Dugay said the case against Clemente has been submitted for resolution while the Yusons will undergo preliminary investigation.