Charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions were filed against a town councilor and his two helpers, at the Provincial Prosecutor's Office yesterday, by the Sibulan police.
Police identified the respondents as Jason Laure, 35, married, and a councilor of Bacong town; Christopher Palalon, 37, married, of Zamboanguita town; and Renato Belocora, 25, single, of Barangay Nangka, in Bayawan City, all in the province.
Insp. Rodrigo Tubog, Sibulan police chief, said the three were arrested Tuesday night, following a call for assistance from residents of Barangay Looc, Sibulan, who said some persons were indiscriminately firing their guns, at the quarry site in the area.
Responding policemen saw Palalon carrying a long firearm of caliber 223-556 M4, with serial number JCS-032568, and loaded with a magazine containing 29 rounds of live ammunition, police records showed.
Belocora, who was standing behind a Toyota Hi-Lux pick-up truck, meanwhile, was found to be carrying a KG-9MM sub-machine gun, with SN 471072, and loaded with a magazine with 23 rounds of live ammunition, Tubog said.
Laure, who claimed ownership of the weapons, told the police they were forced to fire warning shots, because somebody hurled stones at them. In fact, the windshield of one of his cargo trucks, was shattered, he added.
Laure said he has an ore transport permit to haul sand from the Looc quarry site. He said they were filling up their trucks when the stoning occurred.
The councilor claimed this was not the first time that he and his workers encountered such hostility at the quarry site, and said this happened last year.
The suspects, meanwhile, were not able to present permits to carry firearms. Instead, two mission orders in the name of Laure, and issued by the 11th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, based in McKinley, Guihulngan City, were shown to the police when they were taken into custody, Tubog said.
But before the start of the inquest proceedings yesterday, Laure showed a photocopy of a license issued by the Philippine National Police Firearms, Explosives, Security Agency and Guards Supervisory Section, for the caliber 223-556-M4 assault rifle only. There was no license presented for the KG-9MM submachine gun, the police added.*JFP
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