A nonagenarian who reportedly wanted to seek and protect President Rodrigo Duterte was arrested after a gun and knives were found in his possession while he was at the compound of the Office of the Special Assistance of Philippines (OSAP) on Chavez Street, Poblacion District late Monday afternoon.
The 90-year-old Bambaran Bantog travelled from his hometown in Tamparan, Lanao del Norte, bringing the weapon without being detected by the authorities in any checkpoints.
Chief Insp. Michael Uyanguren, commander of the Sta. Ana Police Precinct, said Bantog was arrested for carrying an M. Browning Colt .45 ACP with ammunition and two knives while at the OSAP office at 5:45 p.m., Monday.
Private Justine Ray Tayag, a member of the 3rd Infantry Battalion under 7th ID Alpha Company of Philippine Army detailed at the OSAP, caught the suspect.
As the old man was carrying a backpack, guard-soldiers inspected the bag. They found nothing.
The man was then allowed to enter and he sat on a chair at the waiting room where he was given food.
Tayag said he noticed that the old man was scratching the lower part of his body. He got suspicious so he asked the old man to raise his t-shirt.
He saw a sling bag concealed in his shirt. When inspected, the sling bag contained a firearm with 11 bullets.
Thus, the soldier immediately confiscated the gun.
Upon further search, the guard found a camouflage bag, covered by shirt, with two knives and a pair of scissors in it.
This prompted the guard to call for police assistance and subsequently endorsed the suspect to responding officers from Sta. Ana.
When asked by the officers for pertinent papers on the gun, the suspect could not present any.
He was placed under police custody.
Uyanguren said they are set to file a case against the man for violation of illegal possession of firearms and the election law.
Uyanguren said the old man claimed he was carrying the gun and knives for “protection.”
Bantog, according to Uyanguren, wanted to seek audience with President Duterte so he can protect him from critics.
The old man reportedly said he got the gun from Marawi City, Bantog said.
The man went to the city on a public bus. Since he was on a walking stick, he was no longer inspected in any checkpoint.
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