Police raid in Sarangani yields firearms, ammo

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/3 March) – Police operatives seized at least two unlicensed firearms, assorted ammunition and three unregistered motorcycles in a raid Wednesday on a farmhouse in Malungon town in Sarangani province.

Senior Supt. Pedro Austria, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Region 12 chief, said Thursday they seized the illegal items inside a farm compound owned by a certain Ali Dilangalen in Barangay Atlai in Malungon town.

He said they launched the raid following reports from concerned residents of alleged indiscriminate gunfire emanating from the Dilangalen property.

“We initially received a complaint regarding several indiscriminate firing incidents there so we immediately verified it and applied for a search warrant against (the property’s) owner,” Austria said.

Armed with a search warrant issued by a local court here, he said they found an M16 Armalite rifle and a homemade handgun that uses M16 bullets when they rounded up the Dilangalen property Wednesday afternoon.

Austria, who led the operation, said they recovered several rounds of assorted bullets inside the main farm house and some marijuana plants grown at a portion of the compound.

He said they also seized three scooter-type motorcycles, which did not carry any license plate, that were parked inside the property during the raid.

But the raiding team failed to arrest Dilangalen, who reportedly left the compound prior to the operation, and only found the latter’s caretaker identified as Jojo Aragon.

Austria said they are set to file charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act against Dilangalen.

The police official said they submitted the seized firearms and motorcycles to the Police Regional Office 12’s crime laboratory here for the required verification and testing.

He said they wanted to check whether the firearms had been used in shooting incidents that involved motorcycle-riding gunmen.

“We submitted them for cross-matching with some of the shooting incidents that happened in Sarangani and other neighboring areas in the past several months,” he said.

Since last year, a number of unresolved murders involving suspected guns-for-hire were recorded in the city and the neighboring areas.

The suspects, who are usually aboard motorcycles, were initially linked to a supposed death squad allegedly operating in the area but police officials had dismissed the supposed existence of such group. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)