By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to wrap up this April the preliminary investigation it is conducting over the complaint filed against a Masbate mayor and his vice mayor father concerning the stash of unlicensed firearms they have been keeping.
Meanwhile, the panel of prosecutors chaired by Assistant State Prosecutor Josie Christina Dugay gave Mayor Charmax Yuson of Batuan, Masbate and his father, Vice Mayor Charlie Yuson III, until April 1 to file their counter-affidavits.
“After April 1, we will have it submitted for resolution already,” Dugay said.
The complaint, which was filed last February 14 by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Masbate Provincial Field Unit, accused the respondents of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition in violation of Section 28, paragraph (a) of Republic Act 10591, the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Regulation Act.
The complaint was filed after joint elements of the PNP and the Philippine Army raided last February 13 the mayor’s house and his father’s beach resort in Butuan where firearms and ammunition were discovered.
The raids were conducted based on the search warrant issued by Executive Judge Virgilio Macaraig of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 37.
CIDG Masbate head Chief Inspector Dave Mahilum previously explained the operation was conducted against the Yusons after his office received information that the respondents were in possession of unlicensed firearms.
“Meron po tayong information na natanggap na yung mag-amang Yusoncay meron mga possession na loose firearms at nagma-maintain ng private armed groups (We have information the Yusons have in possession loose firearms and maintains armed groups),” Mahilum had said.
Authorities seized from the house of the mayor an armalite rifle and a fragmentation grenade.
While, authorities found in the 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.
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.