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Drone, guns seized in Bilibid

The smuggling of contraband at the national penitentiary has apparently reached new heights.

Authorities seized a stash of guns, ammunition, bladed weapons, cash and jewelry during a raid at New Bilibid Prison (NBP) on Thursday, shortly after an inmate was shot dead by another prisoner at the maximum security compound.

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A source at the NBP on Friday told Inquirer.net that the guns and ammo were discovered inside the storage area of a dormitory.

But there was a more suprising find a day before the shooting. A Parrot AR Drone 2.0 was confiscated on Oct. 21 after NBP officials received word that the gadget—whose use is regulated by the police and airport security personnel—was being operated by an individual or a group inside the prison compound, the source added.

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The confiscated drone is equipped with two cameras and can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet.

The raids were conducted following a shooting incident Thursday afternoon that killed Charlie Quidato, a former Masbate jail warden who was one of the men convicted for the 2001 murder of then Masbate City Mayor Moises Espinosa.

Homicide convict Ronald Catapang confessed to shooting Quidato, according to Msgr. Roberto Olaguer, Bureau of Corrections spokesperson. The 55-year-old Quidato, a life-term prisoner committed to the NBP in 2011, died of two gunshot wounds in the chest.

Both shooter and victim were Commando gang members, Olaguer said. Catapang claimed that Quidato wanted him to throw a grenade at the “jury” or elder Commando members who were then having a meeting. When he refused, he and Quidato had a heated argument that led to the shooting around 5:20 p.m., the monsignor told the Inquirer.

Aside from the .357 Magnum used by Catapang against Quidato, authorities also recovered an MK4 fragmentation grenade. Olaguer said the explosive was found in a sack filled with trash at Building 9’s Dormitory 9D2, which is occupied by Commando members.

The NBP source said a 9mm Taurus, a Glock 17, a Walther P99, a .45-cal. Raven, two 9mm Browning pistols, two .40-cal. pistols, and a .45-cal. Colt pistol were also confiscated.

A list provided by Olaguer, meanwhile, showed that the raid at Dorm 9D2 yielded two 9mm Browning pistols, a 9mm Taurus pistol, a 9mm Vizor, a 9mm Llama, a .380 Bersa Thunder, a 40-cal. Glock 17, a

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.40-cal. Bersa Thunder, .45-cal. Ranger, a .45-cal. Norinco, and .45-cal. Colt.

Prison authorities also seized 350 rounds of ammunition for various firearms. Thursday’s raid also yielded various bladed weapons, two indoor antenna signal boosters, and two refrigerators.

They also got hold of a safe containing 11 necklaces and seven rings made of gold and precious stones. Olaguer said the safe was from Quidato’s room and that it also kept a bank checkbook, P4,000 in cash made up of P20 bills, a list of numbers with the word “grams” on it, and another list of numerical entries dating back to 2014.

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TAGS: Bilibid, Charlie Quidato, Homicide, Moises Espinosa, National Bilibid Prison, Ronald Catapang, Smuggling
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