Police bust illegal gun manufacturers in Danao
Eight were arrested and several firearms, gun parts and equipment valued at around P1 million were seized in two separate raids described by police as a big blow in the illegal production of firearms in Danao City, northern Cebu.
The operations were conducted by operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) last Thursday afternoon in sitio Canbiohan, barangay Poblacion, Danao.
Those arrested were identified as Jaime Silverio Sr. and Vivencio Cabaque Villasan of barangay Poblacion, Danao City; Antonio Galon Gian, Normanito Minoza Gian, Ildefonso Banzon Capitan, Benedicto Ancos Manulat, Eldebrando Tito Gian and Gomersindo Batoon Bayo of barangay Taboc, Danao City.
The police also seized four .45 caliber pistols and hundreds of gun barrels, slides and other parts of assorted firearms.
Silverio and Villasan were caught selling gun barrels and revolver cylinders to undercover police operatives in sitio Cambiohan, barangay Poblacion, Danao.
In a follow-up operation, the police also arrested Antonio Galon Gian who was also selling barrels, revolver cylinders and slides inside his residence in St. Peter Village, barangay Taboc, Danao . The five others were caught fabricating gun spare parts inside the compound of Gian.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) said the raids were conducted as part of their campaign against loose firearms in the region in preparation for the 2013 elections.
Senior Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr., chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, said the arrest of the eight suspects and the seizure of the gun parts would reduce the supply of illegally manufactured arms in Danao City by around 80 percent.
“The accomplishment is a big blow in the production of illegal of firearms,” Comendador said.
Comendador explained that the gun manufacturing operation of Gian was the biggest, so far, that they have apprehended.
He explained that based on the number of barrels seized, the arrested persons could finish at least 20 firearms daily.
The two operations were made after a two-week surveillance, Comendador said.
In an interview with reporters, Eldebrando Gian admitted being a gun maker and said he was paid on the basis of the number of guns he completed.
“Wala man koy laing mapa-ingnan para adunay mapakaun sa akong pamilya (I don’t have other means of living to feed my family), Eldebrando said.
Gian refused to identify their financiers.
Police said the arrested alleged gun makers are to be charged with violating Republic Act 8294 or manufacturing unlicensed firearms.
Garbo said the CCPO will be given a commendation for the operations./CORRESPONDENTS GABRIEL C. BONJOC, TWEENY MALINAO AND INQUIRER