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7 face raps over missing firearms

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines – Seven persons, including four civilians, are facing charges in connection with  missing firearms and ammunition at this camp amounting to around P1.5 million.

Supply warehouse officer Senior Police Officer 2 Fortunato Datinguinoo and supply accountable officer Asmundo Llorin were charged with malversation of public property.

Esmeraldo Ondoy of the First Ammo Detachment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine Army was charged with robbery.

Rustom Escaranum, Arnold Matienzo, Edwin Almazon and Romeo Opena were named as Ondoy’s co-accused. The respondents allegedly sold firearms with Philippine National Police markings and defaced serial numbers.

Datinguinoo, who was relieved from his post, is also charged with qualified theft and an administrative case before the Regional Investigation and Detection Group in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).

 Documents obtained by The STAR show that among those reported missing are 17 pieces of caliber 9mm Glock 17 pistols and 22 magazines, 51 caliber 9mm Beretta pistols and three magazines, 10 caliber .38 revolvers, two caliber .45 pistols, 19 M16 rifles, a caliber 5.56 mm machine gun and 11,590 rounds of ammunition of a caliber 7.62 rifle.

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At least 2,744 rounds of ammunition of a caliber 9mm pistol and 405 pieces of 80mm mortars were also missing.

Investigation showed that Datinguinoo discovered that the firearms were missing on Oct. 21. He was to issue eight 9 mm Glock 17 pistols, training handguns and two Beretta pistols as requested by the manager of the regional special training unit at the time.

Sources said among the missing firearms were those seized in a drug sting during which a Chinese man was among those arrested.

There were also reports that three vehicles loaded with ammunition were seen leaving the armory in December.

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