Police intel agent in GenSan involved in gunrunning?

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – Police authorities are looking into the possible involvement in gunrunning activities of an alleged police intelligence agent who was arrested here last Saturday for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

Col. Joselito Kakilala, commander of the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan, said they received information that suspect Gualberto Pardillo Gonzaga alias Bert had been allegedly selling unlicensed firearms, ammunition and explosives in the area.

“According to intelligence reports, this guy was involved in nefarious activities. He might be the link or supplier of the weapons being used by some lawless elements here,” he told reporters.

Pardillo was arrested following a raid on his house at Doña Soledad Subdivision in Barangay Labangal around 4 a.m. Saturday.

Armed with a search warrant, joint Army and police operatives swooped in on the residence of Gonzaga and his farmhouse in Alabel town in Sarangani province.

Chief Supt. Benjardi Mantele, acting Region 12 police director, said the search at the farmhouse yielded no evidence but the raid at the suspect’s house resulted to the confiscation of assorted firearms, ammunition and explosives.

Among those recovered were a caliber .45 and .38 pistols, an M60 machine gun barrel and receiver, M16 Armalite rifle barrel and receiver, a canister of a 155mm mortar, assorted bullets and a machine supposedly used in repairing, manufacturing and tampering of firearms.

Mantele said Gonzaga initially claimed that he was a member of a police intelligence unit supposedly based at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame.

He said the suspect presented a PNP identification card (ID) bearing the serial number A232677 and issued on November 20, 2008.

The supposed ID will supposedly expire on September 18, 2011, which is also the bearer’s retirement date, he said.

In an interview with a local television station, Gonzaga vehemently denied that he was involved in gunrunning activities in the area.

He admitted that he was selling firearms but claimed that they were all properly licensed.

“I get them from a gun store based just outside Camp Crame. I assemble the firearms then sell them to my clients here,” he said.

Gonzaga also denied that he had been supplying weapons to lawless elements, specifically to breakaway groups of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Mantele said Gonzaga would be charged for violation of Presidential Decree 1866 as amended by Republic Act 8295 for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)