SAF trooper hurt in raid of ex-Pampanga mayor’s house
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — A member of the Police Special Action Force was hurt in a gunfight that led to the arrest of former Arayat town Mayor Luis “Chito” Espino on Wednesday dawn (Feb. 15), a report from this Central Luzon police camp said.
Espino and a group of men fired when about 100 policemen belonging to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the Rapid Deployment Battalion and the SAF Second Battalion encircled the former mayor’s house in Barangay (village) Cacutud at 4 a.m.
The mayor’s relatives claimed the policemen insisted on entering the compound but would not show them a search warrant.
The search warrant for unlicensed weapons, said to be dated Feb. 7, was issued by Judge Ana Marie Joson-Viterbo, but the police has not yet released a copy of the document to reporters here by Wednesday.
Espino’s group stopped firing when a policemen was hurt. The wounded SAF trooper was brought to a local hospital but has not been identified.
Espino was arrested together with Rosendo Dizon, village chief of Cacutud, and three other men whose names were not released.
A 5.56-pistol, three .45-handguns and a 9mm-pistol, three hand grenades and 19 sachets of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) were found in the house, according to the police.
The former mayor insisted that the weapons were licensed, but Espino said he lost the documents so he had requested a relative to secure copies at the national headquarters in Camp Crame. “The shabu are not mine. The grenades are not mine,” Espino told reporters.
Two V150 armored vehicles accompanied the search team. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.