MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday said they will closely work with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in strengthening efforts against the proliferation of loose firearms in the country.
In a statement, Eleazar said the PNP will be partnering with the AFP to bolster coordination and information-sharing to further intensify the campaign.
Eleazar’s statement follows the arrest of five people, including two soldiers and a policeman, for allegedly selling firearms during an entrapment operation in Barnagay Tamontaka in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao last Tuesday.
The PNP identified the arrested individuals as Patrolman Eliver Jay Anggot Soverano, reportedly assigned to the PNP-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Crime Laboratory Office; Datu Morjan Kunakon Tumindig; Adams Tuminding; and Army Staff Sgt. Gleen Argones Sangyao and Army Staff Sgt. Reynaldo Dichosa II, both are reportedly assigned to the 6th Infantry Division.
The operation was conducted after a police poseur-buyer was able to transact with the suspects for the sale of assorted firearms.
Seized from the suspects were a 5.56 mm Bushmaster rifle, two 5.56 rifle, an M4 Carbine, two cal. 45 pistols, and three 9mm pistols.
“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,” Eleazar said.
He said the PNP personnel arrested will be charged with both criminal and administrative charges.
He lauded the Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipal Police Station for the operation.
Eleazar earlier ordered police units to conduct early election security preparations that include aggressive operations against loose firearms and private armed groups.
“I am also warning all our personnel not to engage in this kind of illegal activity because I will make sure that the full force of the law will be used against you. Bilang mga alagad ng batas, hindi dapat tayo maging bantay-salakay at sa halip ay bantay ng bayan upang mapanatili ang kapayapaan at kaayusan,” he said.