Police on Sunday arrested an 82-year-old gunsmith who admitted to repairing firearms for gun-for-hire and drug personalities, at times, in exchange for shabu as payment.
According to Panglao police chief Capt. Neon Alvarez, the unlicensed gun repairman, identified as Teresito Araneta, was caught in possession of nine illegal firearms during a buy-bust operation in his residence in Barangay Bil-isan, Panglao.
“Umamin siya na yung mga nagpapaayos sakanya mga gun-for-hire and then minsan nagpapabayad siya na drugs lang ang bayad. Mo-suyop pa ni siya. Kay ingon siya kini maoy tambal sa iyang arthritis. Nagulat kami, pero from his own mouth yan,” said Alvarez.
Police seized six .38 caliber revolvers and three .22 caliber revolvers from Araneta, who walks aided by crutches.
The operation was set in motion against Araneta after concerned citizens reported to police his alleged illegal dealings.
“May nag-report samin na concerned citizen na may customer siya na nagpaayos ng mga baril at nagtatago ng mga baril. May pinaayos kami sakanya na sirang armas and then positive, caught in the act na siya, in flagrante delicto,” Alavarez said.
Araneta who previously worked for a legal gun shop in Tagbilaran City and Cebu is set to be charged with violations against Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Gunsmiths must apply for a license from the Philippine National Police’s Firearms and Explosives Office for them to repair and customize registered firearms, as stipulated in RA 10591.
Araneta remained under police custody but was not placed inside a jail cell as “human rights consideration” due to his old age, said Alvarez.
“Nandoon lang siya sa isang opisina namin kasi di naman na siya maka-takbo kasi naka saklay naman na,” he added. (A. Doydora)