Cops seize 40 firearms from house of Negros Occidental town mayor

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MANILA, Philippines – Authorities confiscated over 40 high-powered firearms, ammunitions and explosives following a raid on the house of an incumbent mayor in Negros Occidental Thursday morning, a Philippine National Police official said.

Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., Western Visayas police director, said police operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Special Action Force raided the house of Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Pena in Barangay (village) Ubay, Pulupandan in Negros Occidental around 7:30 a.m.

The weapons included 31 shotguns, six AK47 riffles, two M16 riffles, two caliber .45 pistols, two military explosives, and bullets.

Meanwhile, a report from the Visayas bureau of the Philippine Daily Inquirer said members of the raiding team declined to be interviewed, and the basis for the raid could not be immediately ascertained.

Peña, who was in Manila at the time of the raid, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview he had licenses for the firearms found by the police in his family’s ancestral home. He said he had asked his lawyers to go to house as he was still in Manila.

Peña is on his second term as mayor but decided not to seek re-election and instead fielded his son, Miguel, in the mayoral race.

Peña is campaigning for Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, who is challenging the re-election bid of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. of the United Negros Alliance.

The Inquirer sent a text message to Senior Superintendent Ricardo de la Paz, Negros Occidental provincial director, to ask about the raid but he replied that it was still ongoing and would give no details. With a report from Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas

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