Arrested Marine says he is gun-for-hire
() - September 9, 2008 - 12:00am

Police are verifying reports that a former Marine caught in possession of firearms and explosives in his condominium unit in Mandaluyong City last Saturday is a gun-for-hire employed by a high-ranking Navy official involved in a land-grabbing case in Rizal province.

“We are determining the veracity of his confession that he’s a gun-for-hire employed by a Navy commodore,” said Eastern Police District (EPD) director Chief Superintendent Leon Nilo de la Cruz, referring to the suspect Harph Cabaluna.

De la Cruz said police have yet to get evidence to pin down the Navy commodore assigned at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. He refused to name the official, pending investigation.

During interrogation by Senior Superintendent Carlos de Sagun, Mandaluyong City police chief, Cabaluna admitted he is a gun-for-hire, but failed to say the number of people he killed “on orders of the Navy official.’’

Investigation showed that Cabaluna was a Marine with the rank of private when he was discharged from the service for absence without official leave (AWOL) in 2002.

Cabaluna was arrested when neighbors reported a fire in his unit, which the police learned was caused by a smoke grenade that accidentally went off.

Responding policemen recovered from the scene a cache of high-powered firearms and ammunition, which included M-16 rifles, shotguns, 81-mm mortar rounds, and ammunition for an M-60 machine gun. Cabaluna failed to show legal documents for them and was charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgar Arevalo said the firearms may have been pilfered from the Marine headquarters.  – Non Alquitran, James Mananghaya

CABALUNA CAMP AGUINALDO CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT LEON NILO CRUZ EASTERN POLICE DISTRICT EDGAR AREVALO HARPH CABALUNA JAMES MANANGHAYA MANDALUYONG CITY NON ALQUITRAN QUEZON CITY
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