CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Government troops which compose the Joint Special Task Force Masbate arrested a village leader for possession of high-powered firearms in his home, a military report said.
In a report submitted by LtCol Anthony Purugganan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Battalion, he said that a team from his unit, in a joint operation with PNP personnel led by PSInsp Dennis Balla, raided the house of Bgy Captain Geronimo Remulta of Bgy Tan-awan, Placer, Masbate at around 5:00am today (March 17).
The operations resulted to the confiscation of two (2) M16 Armalite Rifle with Serial Nrs RR207305 and RR732070 and one (1) Cal.45 Pistol with Serial Nr C02669.
A case for violation of PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294 (Illegal Possession of Firearms) and violation of COMELEC Resolution 8714 (COMELEC Gun Ban) are now being prepared for filing in court.
The raid was conducted by virtue of a Search Warrant issued by Judge Maximino Ables of Sorsogon RTC.
Remulta is the third politician to be charged with a criminal case for illegal possession of firearms in Masbate Province and the second to be arrested from the town of Placer.
On February 14, Bgy Captain Antonio De Ocampo , another village leader of Bgy Daraga of Placer town was collared for possessing three unlicensed high-powered firearms.
On March 12, 2010, a certain Richeliu Tamayo, a village leader of Bgy Nipa, Palanas municipality was also arrested for keeping an unlicensed Cal .45 pistol.
STF Masbate troops had made several arrests around Masbate province in its bid to dismantle the various partisan armed groups (PAGs) who are involved in various election-related violent incidents in the area.
The JSTF Masbate has already netted 11 PAGs members as of today. Seven of the suspects were alleged members of the Gerry Solasco PAGs members based in Pio V. Corpuz while the three are all incumbent village leaders.