Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), called for a thorough investigation Friday, September 10, into the discovery of an arms cache in three separate law enforcement operations in Quezon City and Bulacan.
Eleazar said the seized loose firearms and ammunition were being reassembled by a local syndicate before they sell it to private armed groups (PAGs).
The PNP Chief believes that the loose firearms would be used by the PAGs to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the national and local elections in 2022.
On Thursday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that joint military and police units conducted three separate entrapment operations in Quezon City and Bulacan which resulted in the seizure of an arms cache.
The first operation was spearheaded by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and their military counterpart at a warehouse in Quezon City on Wednesday.
The operations resulted in the arrest of six individuals believed to be involved in the illegal repair and reassembly of high-powered firearms, and the seizure of 5,000 assorted ammunition along with personal effects and gadgets.
Meanwhile, two subsequent raids in Bulacan also led to the discovery of gun parts for assorted high-powered firearms.
One of the raids occured at a warehouse in Santa Maria town where authorities found disassembled high-powered firearms.
Another operation in Bulacan resulted in the seizure of a reassembled caliber 5.56 rifle, assorted ammunition, pistols, and other firearm parts.
"These operations prevented the proliferation of more loose firearms that could have been used to undermine our democratic processes and our right to suffrage, especially there were reports that this group has been selling firearms to criminals and private goons in Mindanao,” Eleazar said.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., AFP Chief of Staff, commended the military and police units involved in the dismantling of the group behind the illegal reassembly and sale of loose firearms and ammunition.
"We are at a crucial point in our efforts to end communist and local terrorist and other criminal activities in the country, and a big part of this is in ending the proliferation of loose firearms," he said.