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Barangay tanod cleared for gun not for bullets

A barangay tanod escaped a stiffer penalty in a gun-related case after one of the witnesses did not execute an affidavit to prove a gun was seized from him.

Government prosecutors indicted Marvin Acosta, said to be a barangay peacekeeper of Barangay Ma-a, Talomo District, for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

But investigating prosecutor Irene Joy Tala said Acosta will be facing litigation for the bullets taken from him and not for the gun, a .45 caliber firearm, allegedly seized from him.

Tala, in an investigation approved by Deputy City Prosecutor Shahruddin Roberto Sencio Jr., said there is no evidence that Purok Leader Apolinaria Patalinghug Jubay of Barangay Langub, Talomo District seized a .45 caliber firearm with three bullets from the respondent and turned it over to the police investigator, Staff Sgt. Bryan Cubillas. Tala said there was no affidavit that Jubay signed and submitted as evidence.

The Talomo Police Station, thru Cubillas, filed the case against Acosta after an incident in Purok 1-A, Hilltop, Barangay Langub last Jan. 20.

Cubillas said he responded to an alleged grave threat incident where he received report a man was carrying a gun.

Complainants Ramil Savedra Patatag and Crisanto Alforque said they were drinking at Hilltop when the suspect arrived and threatened to kill them, causing a commotion.

They said the suspect was under the influence of alcohol during the time of the incident.

Cubillas said he arrested the suspect.

The officer said he found 11 bullets of .45 caliber firearm from the right pocket of the suspect.

He said Jubay handed to him a .45 caliber firearm with three bullets, allegedly confiscated from Acosta.

With this, Tala indicted Acosta only for Section 28 (g) of RA 10591 for “possessing ammunition of .45 caliber firearm without authority of law” as there is no evidence to show that the gun was taken from the possession of the suspect.

Section 28 (g) carries a penalty of penalty of prison mayor in its minimum period, a penalty lower than the unlawful possession of firearm.

Acosta has been detained at the Talomo Police Station since the day he was arrested.

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