An active Philippine Army (PA) soldier and a militiaman were arrested by police intelligence officers after they were allegedly caught illegally selling high-powered firearms during an entrapment operation in Danao on Wednesday afternoon.
Captain Gereon Item of the Bohol police Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) said that the duo attempted to sell an M16 A1 rifle and an Armscor shotgun for P120,000 during the operation in Barangay Poblacion, Danao.
The suspects, Army Corporal Joe Ariguin Rufano, 33, of the 47th Infantry Battalion and Noel Melencion, 32, of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit will face charges for violating Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Act of 2013.
According to Item, the operation stemmed from information provided by a concerned citizen on the alleged illegal sale of firearms.
The PIB conducted surveillance operations for four months before they identified the duo and the entrapment was set up.
“Naay intel na bahin an. Mao to ga surveillance mi og three to four months…Among gipangita sa Danao. Pagkacontact na namo, wa mi kahibaw og unsa mao pag set up na, CAFGU man diay ug army,” he said.
Police have yet to find out if the seized firearms were stolen from the PA’s armory.
“Dili pa ta ka check kung government property kay tampered na man ning serial number. Amo pa ning e-submit sa Crime Lab,” Item said.
Other than the firearms which were dealt, police also seized Ariguin’s government-issued handgun, a .45 caliber pistol.
Both suspects are now under police custody as authorities prepare to file charges against them. (R. Tutas)