The Police Regional Office has put Davao del Sur on tight watch due to the presence of politicians with private armies.
Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales issued the statement following the arrest of five men, including a barangay chair and a retired Army, in a police checkpoint for bringing firearms on Friday evening in Barangay Kiblagon, Sulop.
“Actually, we are keeping tight watch on this province for its history of politicians with private armies,” Morales said.
The police director said they are conducting an in-depth investigation of the arrested suspects as one of them is a brother of a mayoral candidate in a nearby town of Malalag.
“We are still doing background check of the suspects,” he said.
He said they are also verifying if the confiscated firearms are licensed. During the arrest, the suspects were not able to present legal documents.
Morales said he has ordered provincial director, Col Alan Manibog, to look further into the case.
The suspect, he said, will likely be charged for illegal possession of firearms and for violating the election code.
The five men were arrested in a police checkpoint along the highway of Kilometer 80 in Kiblagon at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Morales identified those arrested as Luis Barrios Duterte , 47, single, driver, of Poblacion, Malalag; Reynaldo Jaloring Malayang, 41, single, barangay chair of Lapu Lapu, Malalag; Willy Manggaga Alconera, 43, married, farmer, of Brgy. Lapu Lapu; Ramon Oquialda Paras, 63, married, jobless, of Poblacion, Malalag; and Roger Delegero Neri, 58, married, a retired Philippine Army soldier of Purok Durian, Brgy. Singaw, Kidapawan, North Cotabato.
Confiscated from them were one caliber .45 (Llama Max-1), serial no. 51160, with a magazine containing eight bullets; one caliber .45 ACP (1911 Norinco), serial no. T3AO6800, with a magazine containing eight bullets; one caliber .45 Colt, serial no. 173527, with a magazine containing eight bullets; one caliber .45 Colt, serial no. 641-12, with magazine containing eight live bullets; one M16 A1 rifle (Hydra-matic Div. GMCorp USA), with tampered serial number 1103901;, with magazine contaning 30 bullets; one homemade automatic rifle (9mm luger), serial no. 825917, with four magazines loaded with 92 bullets; one homemade shotgun rifle with seven 12-gauge bullets and without serial number, and magazines of M16 with 30 bullet and three magazines of automatic rifle with 9mm bullets.
Joint agents of the 3rd Maneuver Platoon of the 1st Davao del Sur provincial Mobile Force Company (DSPMFC), the 1103rd Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB), and Sulop Municipal Police Station were conducting the checkpoint when they flagged down a passing Mitsubishi Strada.
Police verified that the car has no plate number.
Upon visual check, officers were able to see a high-powered firearm inside the vehicle.
This resulted to the inspection that resulted to the confiscated of the firearms and the arrest of the suspect.