Police confiscates 10 firearms issued to unlicensed security guards in Kidapawan City

It would also file criminal charge of large-scale estafa and administrative charges against a non-commissioned police officer for allegedly delaying on the release of the licenses of the guards, and for collecting money for these documents.

Supt. Alex Tagum, chief of the Firearms and Explosives, Security Agency and Guards Section (FESAGS) of the Cotabato Provincial Police Office (CPPO), said the firearms were confiscated after an inspection of the documents of the guards showed that some of them have expired licenses.

During the inspection, Tagum and his assistant, Chief Insp. Leo Ajero of the Cotabato Provincial Bomb Data Center, found that the guards assigned in two business establishments here have expired security guard licenses. 

Tagum identified those guards with expired security license as Zaldy Genzola of the Superior Security Agency; Herminildo Aninon and Lourdez Ranold of TIDSA Security Agency; Ricardo Ybanez of New Heaven Security Agency; Mamatong Bansuan of PSDEA Security Agency; Ronualdo Redoval of Prudence Security Agency; Lerio Panes of ACD Security Agency; and Efren Gerona of Mahugani Security Agency.

They also discovered that one of the 10 guns they confiscated from the guards has an expired firearms license. 

Meantime, an inspection at the Cotabato Sugar Central Company (CoSuCeCo) at Kilada village in nearby Matalam town in North Cotabato, the police found out that 21 security guards have expired security guard licenses.

When asked, the guards blamed a police officer in North Cotabato for the delay in the release of their security licenses.

In their affidavit-complaint submitted to the Cotabato Provincial Prosecution Office here last Thursday, the 21 guards of the CoSuCeCo identified a certain Police Officer 2 Froilan Gravidez of FESAGS of the North Cotabato PNP as responsible for the non-release of their licenses. 

They alleged that Gravidez collected from them sums of money last September 2007, but until today, not one of them has received a security guard license.

They also alleged Gravidez issued them fake training certificates.

Gravidez, in a radio interview, vehemently denied the accusations.   He said that a certificate would be issued to a guard after he has completed a training or refresher course at a particular school accredited by the PNP. 

“I do not issue a training certificate. However, this certificate, before it would be distributed, is signed by FESAGS in Region 12. The certificates issued to these guards are not bogus. Their license
s will be released soon. The guards just have to wait,” said Gravidez.  

Supt. Renato Hiso, officer-in-charge of the North Cotabato PNP, said the police is set to file administrative complaint against Gravidez for grave misconduct, aside from a criminal complaint of a large-scale estafa.

“He is not allowed to accept payments from the guards because he is not an official collecting agent.   Based on the records we gathered, he issued handwritten receipts of the money he collected from those guards, which is a violation of the existing accounting and auditing policy,” said Hiso.  (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)