The Philippine National Police (PNP) will coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to strengthen the campaign against loose firearms following the arrest of two soldiers and a rookie policeman for selling firearms in Maguindanao.
PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said the local police are now readying the criminal cases against those arrested, including two more civilians, aside from administrative case that would be slapped against Patrolman Eliver Jay Anggot Soverano, assigned to the PNP Crime Laboratory of the Bangsamoro Administrative Region.
Soverano was arrested along with Army Staff Sgts. Gleen Argones Sangyao and Army Staff Sgt. Reynaldo Dichosa II, both assigned to the 6th Infantry Division; and civilians Datu Morjan Kunakon Tuminding and Adams Tuminding.
“Dahil sa insidenteng ito, makikipag-ugnayan ang inyong PNP sa liderato ng Armed Forces of the Philippines upang palakasin ang monitoring at mga operasyon laban sa sinumang magbebenta at bibili ng mga loose firearms, pulis man, sundalo o sinuman ang sangkot dito. Hindi natin hahayaan ang ganitong kalakaran lalo na at may eleksyon tayong dapat protektahan (Because of this incident, the PNP will coordinate with the AFP leadership to stregnthen monitoring and information-sharing against those selling firearms. We will not allow this to happen especially that we will be protecting the May 2022 elections),” said Eleazar.
Eleazar earlier ordered an early election security preparations that include aggressive operations against loose firearms and private armed groups.
Seized from the five arrested suspects were were a 5.56 mm Bushmaster rifle, two 5.56 rifle, an M4 Carbine, two cal. 45 pistols, and three 9mm pistols and several ammunition.
The operation was conducted after a police poseur-buyer from the Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipal Police Station was able to negotiate for the purchase of various firearms in Barangay Tomantaka on Tuesday.
"I commend the chief of police and the personnel of the Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipal Police Station for their aggressive campaign against loose firearms which led to the arrest of five people, two of them are soldiers and the other one is a PNP personnel,” said Eleazar.
“This translates to nine less firearms at the hands of criminal elements who may be tapped to sow violence in the May 2022 elections,” he added.