Village chief nabbed for illegal possession of firearms

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/08 September) – A police raiding team arrested on Friday dawn a municipal councilor in Tulunan, North Cotabato for illegal possession of firearms.

The suspect was identified as Jomar Cerebo Almirante, chair of Barangay Sibsib and president of the Association of Barangay Councils in Tulunan.

Recovered inside Almirante’s house was an unlicensed caliber .45 pistol with three magazines, operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) in North Cotabato said.

The raiding team included operatives from the Police Regional Office in Region 12 based in General Santos City.

CIDT said Cotabato said Almirante’s license to carry firearm had expired.

Almirante told CIDT he failed to renew his license because it has to be done in Manila.

The raiding team was armed with three search warrants issued by a court in Kidapawan City.

Of these warrants, two were for alleged possession of illegal drugs, police said.

Reports reaching the police said Almirante was a drug “runner” in Tulunan.

But the raiding team failed to recover from Almirante’s house shabu and other drug paraphernalia.

Almirante is the second ABC president in North Cotabato and Maguindanao to have been arrested since last week.

On Sept 5, police arrested Fatima Daud Baliwan, chair of Barangay Kapimpilan and also ABC president of Northern Kabuntalan, Maguindanao, for alleged possession of at least 50 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of P600,000.

Police records said Baliwan is considered a “high-value target”. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)