By Richel V. Umel
ILIGAN City — The three suspected gun-for-hires intercepted at a checkpoint in this city last Wednesday have been charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, police said over the weekend.
Senior Insp. James Daleon , Police Station 4 commander, said suspects Gilbert Pasicolan, Andy Pastoral, and Eleazer Tormon were charged last Friday in an inquest proceeding before the Iligan City Prosecutor’s Office.
“The three suspects were put on a recommended bail of P200,000 each for the illegal possession of firearms, while the (possession of) hand grenade is non-bailable,” Daleon said.
Aside from being suspected as gun-for-hires, Daleon said the police are also looking into the possibility that Pasicolan, 40, Pastoral, 31, and Tormon, 42, are involved in gun smuggling.
The three were on board a vehicle that police said was disguised as an ambulance at a joint police-military checkpoint in Barangay Tubod here.
Police said the suspects’ vehicle yielded “firearms and explosives” that included two .45-caliber pistols and several ammunition, an M16 rifle with ammunition, and a hand grenade.
What made the authorities suspicious, Daleon said, was that two of the suspects — Pasicolan and Pastoral — were in military uniform and the ambulance that carried them did not have any medical personnel on board.
It turned out, Daleon said, the vehicle was merely plastered with stickers to make it look like a medical transport. The vehicle, he added, was traced to an individual in General Santos City, named Antonio Apolinario.
Tormon, meanwhile, introduced himself as an Islamic preacher.