A businessman claiming to be a police colonel, was arrested by the police yesterday after a car chase in Brgy. Suay, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, for possession of a cache of high-powered firearms and suspected shabu.
Supt. Calixto Mabugat, Kabankalan police chief, yesterday said the arrest of the suspect he identified as Mark Jose Zulueta, yielded two M-16 assault rifles, a .45 caliber pistol, and a super .38 pistol.
Mabugat said the firearms were recovered from the gray Toyota Fortuner with plate number FGP878 driven by Zulueta, who ignored policemen trying to stop him at a checkpoint at 3 a.m. yesterday in Kabankalan City.
He added that the search on the vehicle of Zulueta that was witnessed by a barangay kagawad, also yielded three sachets of suspected shabu, that were immediately endorsed to the PNP Crime Laboratory at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City, for examination.
Mabugat said Zulueta, who was with two women whose identities he has withheld, failed to present documents, allowing him to possess and transport the firearms.
Before his arrest, Mabugat said Zulueta, who introduced himself as a certain “Col. Martinez,” called up the Kabankalan City Police Station, at about 10:51 p.m. of Jan. 11, informing the duty police officers that he had an ongoing operation against somebody in Kabankalan, and that they should not inform their police chief, stressing that it was “confidential” in nature.
Zulueta, who claimed to be calling from Camp Crame, was later traced to be in Negros Occidental, as reflected in the caller ID of the phone used by the Kabankalan police, Mabugat added.
Mabugat said they also established later that “Col. Martinez” is also Zulueta, the owner of a newly-opened convenience store in Kabankalan City.
Mabugat also said they will verify with the Firearms and Explosives Office at Camp Crame, in coordination with the Himamaylan police headed by Supt. Antonietto Canete, if the seized firearms were registered to Zulueta who is now detained at the Himamaylan police jail.*GPB/LTG