PNP seize arms cache, P2.2-M marijuana stash in Bulacan operation

The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Friday, July 2, that it had seized a cache of firearms and 11 kilos of suspected marijuana worth P2,240,800 from a suspected crime syndicate leader during a search operation in Malolos, Bulacan.

The operation was part of the larger crackdown on private armed groups (PAGs) and loose firearms ahead of the 2022 national elections.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (middle) presents on Friday, July 2, the cache of firearms and marijuana stash confiscated from a suspected crime syndicate leader during a recent search operation in Malolos, Bulacan. (Photo courtesy of PNP)

The suspected marijuana leaves worth over P2.2 million that were confiscated from King. (Photo courtesy of PNP)

PNP Chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar identified the arrested suspect as Jason Relucio King, 46, of Barangay Longos, Malolos.

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) served the search warrant issued by Judge Nemesio Manlangit, presiding judge of Malolos City Trial Court Branch 1, against King at around 10 a.m. Thursday for alleged violation of Republic Act (RA) 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

The CIDG found in King's house an M16 assault rifle, a shotgun, two cal. 22 rifles, one 9mm sub-machine gun, eight handguns of varying caliber, assorted magazine assemblies with ammunition, and the suspected marijuana leaves placed in plastic pouches.

According to Eleazar, King resides in Valenzuela City but he also owns a residential unit in Malolos where he keeps his guns.

"We have found out that most of these firearms were registered under his name. In fact, this particular situation was brought to the attention of the judge during the application . Pero ang point natin doon (But our point) is his residence is in Valenzuela and our monitoring of the firearms is that they were kept in Malolos," he explained.

"If you have LTOPF , kung saan ang address nakalagay dapat nandun lang 'yun (your address should match where you keep ). You cannot transfer that unless you get an authorization of permit to transfer these firearms," he said.

The PNP chief also shared information that King was the alleged leader of a syndicate which supplies loose firearms to PAGs.

"Based on the co-plan meron siyang mga kasamahan (Based on the co-plan, he has cohorts). While it is true na siya 'yung head ng grupo nila (that he is the head of their group), we are still conducting a case buildup operation for the eventual arrest of the other cohorts based on evidence," Eleazar said.

He, however, refused to divulge the name of the syndicate and King's supposed accomplices pending the result of the case buildup.

In June 2019, the suspect and his younger brother, Bryan, a transport network vehicle service (TNVS) driver, were nabbed after they allegedly yielded 112 grams of high-grade "kush" marijuana worth P168,000 during a buy-bust operation in Quezon City.

However, the case was dismissed by the court, the PNP chief noted.

Eleazar said all of King's confiscated firearms will be subjected to ballistics examination for crossmatching with the automated PNP database of firearms involved in shooting incidents.

Meanwhile, the marijuana stash will be kept in a secured storage at the PNP crime laboratory while operatives await further orders from the court for its destruction, he added.

King was brought to the CIDG headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. He is facing violations of RA 10591 and Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (RA 9165).