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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesMonday, March 5, 2012
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Illegal gun raps vs. female
‘civilian agent’ dismissed

BY JUDY F. PARTLOW

The Bayawan City Prosecutor has dismissed the charges for illegal gun possession filed by the police against a woman arrested last month for allegedly trying to smuggle a gun into the district jail in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, who claimed to be a civilian agent of a military intelligence unit.

Teresa Balungcas of Sitio Umod, Barangay Maninihon in Bayawan City, had claimed to be a civilian agent of the 7th Regional Intelligence and Security Unit of the Philippine Army, based in Camp Lapu-lapu, Cebu City, Sr. Insp. Teddy Picardal, city police chief, said.

He added that she also claimed to be the wife of a certain M/Sgt. Balungcas, who is assigned to the same military intelligence unit.

Balungcas was released from detention after Bayawan City Prosecutor Peter Balbuena dismissed the complaint filed against her.

In his resolution, Balbuena cited a similar case in Bohol, involving a civilian agent of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who was also able to present “legitimate” documents, Picardal said.

Picardal said the woman had attached to her counter-affidavit a copy of memorandum order 7ISU-CA701-063 dated January 1, 2012, issued by the 7th RISU and signed by Major Hernan Santos. The MO bore the correct serial number 879280 of the KG-9 9-mm machine pistol, that was allegedly recovered from her last February 14, at the Bayawan City jail.

Provincial police director Sr. Supt. Edward Carranza said Balugas presented two MOs from the same military intelligence unit at the time of her arrest but the serial number of the firearm indicated in the documents did not match that of the gun seized from her.

Balungcas was arrested after the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel found in her possession a KG-9 machine pistol, two magazine clips and 30 rounds of live ammunition, in a routine visitor’s check.

Police said Balungcas had wanted to visit a certain Jasper Tanasan, a suspected gun-for-hire who was arrested early this year, to inquire about the whereabouts of her son, Benjie Balungcas who had gone missing since November 2010.

Early police reports indicated that the group of Tanasan could have been involved in the disappearance of the younger Balungcas.

The Bayawan police, meanwhile, filed a motion for reconsideration on the woman’s dismissal, noting the unusual issuance of three MOs on the same date, by the same person from the same military intelligence unit, but with different contents, Picardal said.*JFP

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