Negros town mayor faces illegal gun charges | Inquirer News

Negros town mayor faces illegal gun charges

By: - Correspondent / @carlagomezINQ
/ 07:54 AM May 19, 2013

BACOLOD CITY—The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has filed charges against Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña and four others for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives, and for harboring a criminal.

The charges were filed at the Department of Justice in Manila on May 15, according to Senior Supt. Jose Mario Espino, head of the Philippine National Police-CIDG Anti-Organized Crime Division.

Named respondents along with Peña were Florante Divinagracia Pondales, Joey Yungue, Rolly Escaran and Diego Anciano.


The charges stemmed from the alleged recovery of 90 high-powered firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosives during a raid on the mayor’s ancestral house in Barangay Ubay, in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, on May 2.


Espino said Peña was also charged with harboring a criminal because Yungue, who was at the mansion during the raid, has pending warrants of arrest for murder and attempted homicide.

Peña could not be reached for comment but he earlier said the firearms were all licensed and belonged to several corporations. He did not say what corporations these are.

But Espino said 12 of the 90 firearms seized during the raid were unlicensed and unregistered.

Peña also claimed that the explosives reportedly seized during the raid were planted by the police.

He presented an affidavit executed by SPO1 Rosendo Bersal, of the CIDG in Bacolod City, who was part of the raiding team, saying that no explosives were found at the ancestral home during the raid.

But Espino maintained that two TNT one-fourth pound high level explosives were recovered during the raid contrary to the claim of Peña.


Espino said Bersal has also issued another affidavit saying that the policeman was pressured to state that the explosives were planted and was retracting what he said in his first affidavit.

The CIDG inventory showed that 18,000 bullets for different firearms were recovered from the mansion during the raid, said Espino.

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