Masbate town mayor, vice mayor told to respond to illegal firearms complaint
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the mayor and vice mayor of Batuan, Masbate to respond to the illegal possession of firearms complaint filed against them by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
In an order dated February 19, the panel of prosecutors headed by Assistant State Prosecutor Josie Christin Dugay ordered Mayor Charmax Jan Yuson and his father, Vice Mayor Charlie Yuson III to submit their response through counter-affidavits on or before Friday, March 1.
They are facing a complaint for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition in violation of Section 28, Paragraph (a) of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Regulation Act.
“Under and by virtue of the authority vested in us by law, you are hereby directed to submit your counter-affidavits and other supporting documents, or affidavits of witness/witnesses, if any, to be sworn before us on March 1, 2019 at 2p.m. and on March 12, 2019 at 10a.m. at the Department of Justice, Padre Faura, Manila, “said the one-page order.
The panel warned that failure on the part of the Yusons to answer the charges shall be considered a waiver on their part to present their defense through a preliminary investigation.
The complaint was filed after a joint military and police team raided the mayor’s residence and his father’s beach resort in Batuan.
An Armalite rifle and a fragmentation grenade were recovered from the mayor’s residence.
Seized from his father’s beach resort were an M16 Bushmaster rifle, two 12-gauge shotguns, a .45 caliber Colt pistol, three 38 caliber revolvers without serial number and a hand grenade.
The police said only the mayor has firearms licenses but these are only for a 12-gauge shotgun, two Glock pistols and an S5-PVAR rifle.
The raid was carried out based on a search warrant issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 37 Executive Judge Virgilio Macaraig. / gsg
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