By Richel V. Umel
ILIGAN City — Three suspected gun runners and a gun-for-hire were arrested at a joint checkpoint held by the Philippine National Police, 51st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, and the National Bureau of Investigation along Celbran Avenue, Purok Magsaysay, 4th East Tubod, this city, on Tuesday evening.
Senior Insp. James Daleon, Station 4 Police Station commander said they have been surveilling the group in the past two days.
“When we flagged them down at the checkpoint onboard an ambulance, we discovered firearms, ammunition, and a hand grenade,” Daleon said.
He said two of the suspects wore army uniforms and claimed to be members of the 304th Reservist Battalion of the Army based on their identification cards.
“But a legitimate ambulance should have a doctor or nurse on board,” Daleon said.
Daleon identified the suspects as PFC Gilbert Pasicolan 40, Andy Pastoral 31, and a civilian who claimed to be a Balik lslam preacher from P-A Malitbog, Panabo, Davao del Norte and a member of a certain non-government organization operating in the city.
“The confiscated firearms and explosives include two .45 caliber pistols and several ammunition, M16 rifle with ammunition, a hand grenade, cell phones, and identification cards,” Daleon said
For his part, Chief Insp. Jovanie Cabosas, Public Information Officer of Iligan City Police Headquarters Command in Tipanoy, said they verified the identity of the suspects who claimed to be reservists.
“They were disowned by the unit,” Cabosas said.