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Miriam wants Senate probe on gun pilferage case in Crame

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Apart from the AK-47 anomaly, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is facing another controversy for the nearly P12-million worth of missing high-powered firearms at the warehouse of the Firearms and Explosives Division (FED) in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is seeking for an inquiry into the missing semi-automatic pistols, which were discovered pilfered from the FED facility last month.

Santiago filed Senate resolution 686, directing the proper committee to conduct an inquiry into the report that nearly P12-million in firearms are missing from the PNP-FED warehouse located right inside the PNP's national headquarters.

The senator moved for the probe after Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, chief of the National Capital Region-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (NCR-CIDG), reported that 59 firearms worth P11.76 million were missing from the depository of guns and ammunition at the FED office.

Santiago said the firearms were discovered missing when the PNP’s firearms supplier, JOAVI Philippine Corporation, conducted a random inventory of its stocks inside the vault at the FED office last month.

It was learned that 12 pieces of Caracal F pistols, eight pieces of SPHINX 3000 compact, 16 pieces Kriss Vector SDP, three pieces of Arcus 98 DAC and 20 pieces of Sphinx SDP compact high-quality pistols were missing.

Based on the probe, Santiago said that one Harold Sumalde, 23, an employee of the gun supplier, admitted responsibility for the pilferage of the missing firearms.  Sumalde tagged a certain Raymond Lopez as his accomplice.

While both individuals have been charged for qualified theft and for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition before the Quezon City Prosecutors’ Office, Santiago deemed it necessary for the proper Senate committee to conduct in inquiry in aid of legislation.

“There is a need for the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police to determine the culpability of the accused and if there are other PNP officials involved,” Santiago said in her resolution.

Santiago also urged the PNP-FED and the NCR-CIDG to speed up efforts to recover the stolen firearms and to identify those who now possess them.

The latest firearms fiasco is different from the controversy of the 900 high-powered firearms missing at the PNP-FED facility, which has been ordered investigated by President Aquino.

CIDG director Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong was tasked by the President to conduct the prove into the missing AK-47, which reportedly reached the armory of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Among the 10 officials ordered investigated were: former FED director and now Region 3 commander, Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta; Director Gil Meneses, former chief of the Civil Security Group; Chief Superintendent Tom Rentoy, and former director of the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSA).

CAMP CRAME CARACAL F CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT BENJAMIN MAGALONG CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT RAUL PETRASANTA CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT TOM RENTOY CIVIL SECURITY GROUP COMPREHENSIVE LAW DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE FED FIREARMS MISSING
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