A couple allegedly supplying high-caliber firearms and ammunition to the Maute Group, Abu Sayyaf Group, and rogue politicians were arrested in an entrapment operation in Valenzuela City Sunday, the Philippine National Police bared Monday.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde identified the suspects as Edgardo Medel, 46, and his wife Rosemarie, 34, both of Daisy St., Land Ville Subdivision, Barangay Pambuan, Gapan, Nueva Ecija.
The National Capital Region Police Office-Regional Special Operations Unit and Regional Intelligence Division apprehended the suspects after they successfully bought two assault rifles, a handgun, and 12,893 rounds of ammunition worth P1.2 million from them.
Albayalde said the NCRPO received a tip from a confidential informant that the couple was readily supplying unlicensed firearms and ammunition in bulk in exchange for a hefty price.
The NCRPO contacted the suspects through the help of the informant and they were able to make a deal with them.
The transaction occurred around 6:30 p.m. in a service station on the North Luzon Expressway while the couple were onboard a Mitsubishi L300 van with license plates REV-675.
Albayalde said the couple’s three minor children were inside the van while the deal was ongoing. They were turned over to social workers after the arrest of their parents.
It was noticed that the firearms and ammunition presented by Albayalde in Camp Crame, Quezon City were stored in two crates with markings from the Philippine Army.
Albayalde revealed that the couple had contact with a retired AFP soldier, who may have been the source of their high-powered firearms and ammunition.
The PNP chief refused to identify the retired soldier and determine his rank but he assured that he is now the subject of a follow-up operation.
“I just cannot imagine the death and destruction that will result should these war materials fall into the hands of the New People’s Army or the Abu Sayyaf Group,” Albayalde said.
“Part of the continuing investigation will be to determine the source of these weapons and ammunition, and to possibly identify other persons involved,” he added.
The suspects were taken to the NCRPO headquarters where they will be charged with violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act of 2013.
The seized guns and ammunition will eventually become among the confiscated, captured, surrendered, deposited, abandoned, and forfeited firearms in PNP custody, Albayalde said. (Martin Sadongdong)