CAMP OSCAR FLORENDO, San Fernando City, La Union – Joint police operatives seized two unlicensed armalite rifles, two caliber 40, a 9mm pistol, a caliber 45 and numerous ammunitions from the house of a suspected leader of gun-for-hire group during a raid in Barangay 37, Calayab, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte at around 2:00 p.m. Sunday.
Chief Superintendent Roman Felix, Region 1 police director, identified the suspect as Albino Pedro, an engineer who is allegedly involved in several shooting incidents in Ilocos Norte and other nearby provinces.
“We are going to conduct ‘cross matching’ with the confiscated firearms to determine if they were used in shooting incidents in Ilocos Norte,” Felix said.
Felix said the raid is a transitory implementation of the Oplan Lambat Sibat after Director General Marcelo Garbo, PNP deputy director for operation, directed all police provincial directors of Region 1 in a command conference last week to intensify operations against most wanted persons, gun-for-hire personalities, criminal gangs, and illegal drug personalities to sustain the overall objective of the government to achieve lasting peace in conflict-stricken areas like the Ilocos Region.
The raid against Pedro was based on a search warrant issued by Judge Renato Pinlac of the Regional Trial Court in San Carlos City, Pangasinan and was implemented by the Laoag City police headed by Supt. Joey Gorospe together with intelligence personnel of Ilocos Norte police office and the Regional Intelligence Division.
Felix added verification will still be undertaken by the operating troops in order to a certain the involvement of the said engineer to various shooting incidents that claimed several innocent lives over the past several months.
He assured more similar operations against gun-for-hire syndicates operating in the different parts of the region will be conducted in the coming weeks in order to neutralize their operations that will guarantee the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections next year.
By Dexter A. See