Eleazar: Check if ‘gunrunner’ acting alone
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar ordered on Thursday a deeper investigation into the ties of a suspected gunrunner arrested by the Northern Police District (NPD) for selling high-powered guns and ammunition online and delivering them by courier service.
Eleazar ordered the northern Metro Manila police to determine if suspect John Christian Bautista, 33, of Imus, Cavite, was operating alone or was part of a gunrunning syndicate.
Eleazar said police investigators also needed to identify Bautista’s buyers, pointing out, “The high caliber of firearms he’s selling are no joke. He might have been selling these to syndicates or criminals.”
He noted that NPD investigators are looking into the suspect’s source of loose firearms and how he has been allegedly able to sell them online and deliver them through courier service undetected for three years.
Bautista was arrested by NPD special operations unit operatives during a June 15 entrapment operation in Pasay City after an undercover policeman arranged the meeting online to buy guns from the suspect. Seized from him were a submachine gun, a revolver, four pistols and ammunition.
Bautista’s wife voluntarily surrendered to the police at least eight high-powered guns, including a sniper rifle, and assorted ammunition stashed in their home in Imus, Cavite. —JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE
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