TACLOBAN CITY – The seizure of several firearms and ammunition in Northern Samar should serve as a warning against those planning to illegally transport firearms through ports in Eastern Visayas, the Police Regional Office 8 said on Thursday.
Col. Ma. Bella Rentuaya, PRO-8 spokesperson, said policemen in the region have been ordered to step up their check against illegal possession of firearms to ensure peaceful and orderly elections next year.
This came after the arrest of four men on Wednesday for alleged possession of several high-powered firearms at the Port of Allen town in Northern Samar.
Initial investigation disclosed that these firearms are allegedly intended for members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and local terrorist groups in Mindanao.
“We commend our police in Northern Samar for enforcing the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Regulatory Act. This is to show that the PNP is serious in running after gunrunners,” Rentuaya said in a text message sent to the Philippine News Agency.
The suspects were identified as Daud Kumamang Ludungan, 43; Roger Daud Baguindali, 33; Wahid Esmael Yusop, 23; and Abdulgapor Buday Singh, 65, all residents of Maguindanao.
Police operatives and Philippine Coast Guard personnel flagged down the four suspects on board two vehicles around 1:40 p.m. at the town’s port. The pier is part of the nautical highway that connects Eastern Visayas and Luzon.
Rentuaya said government forces received a report on Wednesday morning that two vehicles heading to Maguindanao from Taguig City loaded with firearms would pass by the Port of Allen.
The suspects failed to produce documents to prove that the cargoes are not loose firearms. The cars were heading to Datu Piang, Maguindanao from Taguig City.
Seized from the suspects were 30 M-16 rifles, three .45 caliber pistols, and several magazines and ammunition.
The guns were hidden inside the tire compartment and side doors of the vehicles, according to authorities.
The four suspects are now detained at the Allen town police station and will be charged with illegal possession of firearms. (PNA)