Arms cache seized from Abra mayoral bet

AGENTS of the Philippine National Police seized illegal firearms from a mayoral candidate in Abra as officers move to account for more unlicensed guns and partisan armed groups ahead of the May 13 national and local elections, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said yesterday.

“I am pleased to announce another successful police effort to take away instruments of violence that may pose threat to the holding of peaceful and orderly elections on May 13,” Albayalde said.

The PNP chief said that a cache of high-powered firearms composed of three automatic rifles, four handguns and assorted live ammunition were recovered from Jose Marie Mailed Brillantes, a candidate for mayor of Tayum, Abra.

Joint PNP-Army operatives conducted the raid on the strength of a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.

Judge Gina Juan-Chan of the Abra Regional Trial Court issued the search warrant.

“Similar search operations are also underway elsewhere in other places, particularly in perennial election hotpots,” Albayalde said.

Meanwhile, police also arrested a barangay chairman in San Isidro, Isabela for illegal possession of high-powered firearms and ammunition, Police Regional Office 2 director Brig. Gen. Jose Mario Espino said yesterday.

“This is part of our ongoing effort to account for loose weapons that could be used to disrupt the holding of peaceful and orderly May 13 national and local elections,” Espino told the Journal Group.

Local policemen led by Lt. Col. Santiago Pascual raided the house of Reynaldo Hope, the 48-year-old chairman of Bgy. Gud in San Isidro municipality on the strength of a search warrant for violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.

The village official was arrested after the raid led to the recovery of a Norinco M-16 automatic rifle with tampered serial numbers, one cal. .45 pistol, one cal. .380 pistol, 17 M-176 magazines containing 307 pieces of live ammunition, eight cal. .45 bullets as well as assorted gun spare parts and accessories.