3 alleged gun-runners and gun-for-hire suspects nabbed in Iligan City
ILIGAN CITY — Authorities arrested three alleged gun-runner and gun-for-hire suspects in a random checkpoint along Celbran Avenue, Purok Magsaysay on 4th East Tubod here.
Sr. Insp. James Daleon, station 4 commander, said the group, which was already under surveillance in the past two days, was onboard an ambulance loaded with firearms, ammunitions and a hand grenade, when flagged down by police around 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 13.
A composite team of police, members of the 51st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents in Iligan City conducted the operation.
“Two of the suspects were wearing an army uniform and claimed to be members of the Reservists 304th Battalion of the Philippine Army based on their Identification cards,” Daleon said. “A legitimate ambulance should have had a doctor or a nurse on board.”
Daleon identified the suspects as Privates First Class Gilbert Pasicolan, 40, and Andy Pastoral, 31; and a civilian, who claimed to be a Balik lslam preacher from P-A Malitbog, Panabo, Davao del Norte and a member of a certain non-government organization based in Iligan City.
Among the confiscated firearms and explosives were two units of 45-caliber pistols and several ammunitions, M16 rifle with ammunitions, a hand grenade, cellular phones and identification cards, Daleon said.
He said the suspects had no proper authority to carry firearms and mission orders. He also said appropriate charges would be filed against the suspects.
“We made an effort to verify their identity but they were disowned by the unit they belong,” said Chief Insp. Jovanie Cabosas, public information officer of Iligan City police. /kga
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