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2 ex-soldiers turn bodyguards busted for firearms trafficking

TWO ex-members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-turned VIP security personnel of one of the country’s richest men were arrested by agents of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for their alleged involvement in illegal weapons’ trafficking in Metro Manila, a report to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas said yesterday.

The suspects identified as ex-Army soldier Arnel Aduca, a 33-year old resident of Luna, La Union and Arnold Padilla,43, an ex-Marine trooper residing in San Pedro City in Laguna are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013, PNP-CIDG director, Major Gen. Joel Napoleon M. Coronel said.

The two were arrested by undercover officers from the CIDG National Capital Region headed by Colonel Randy Glenn G. Silvio and Captain Michael Nathaniel P. Visco during separate stings along Bayani Road, Western Bicutan, Taguig City 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at San Antonio Plaza in Forbes Park, Makati City , two hours later.

Recovered from the suspects were two M-16 automatic rifles, a fragmentation grenade, three 30-rounded M-16 magazines, five 20-rounder M-16 magazines, 348 pieces of caliber 5.56 live ammunition, two Magnum 22 revolvers, an M201-Z anti-riot gun and the buy-bust money topped by two marked P1,000 bills.

A high-end Sports Utility Vehicle owned by the employer of the two whose identity was requested by the PNP-CIDG to be withheld was also impounded following the sting which they conducted with the help of the Philippine Army’s 15th Intelligence Regiment and the Makati City Police Station.

Aduca was arrested after he sold the two M-16 rifles with magazines and ammunition and a fragmentation grenade to a CIDG-NCR poseur along Bayani Road in Western Bicutan.

A follow-up operation resulted in the arrest of Padilla when he presented the two revolvers and the anti-riot gun he was selling to the undercover agent.

During investigation, both told CIDG-NCR investigators that their multi-millionaire employer had no knowledge or any idea that they are involved in gunrunning activities, the Journal Group learned.