Trial of 3 alleged Pinoy gun smugglers continues

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Feb 12 2013 04:04 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2013 12:04 AM

LOS ANGELES, California - The jury trial of the three Filipinos accused of illegally selling and shipping weapons to the US entered its second week on Monday.

Special Agent Charles Ro, who posed as a Mexican mafia weapons broker to buy guns from Sergio Syjuco and Cesar Ubaldo, was into his 5th straight day of testimony getting grilled over accusations of entrapment from the defendants' lawyers.

Lawyers for Ubaldo claim Ro was never direct that the ballistics vests sold by their client who runs a military supplies business and the weapons which Arjyl Revereza, a gun collector sold to Ro were being shipped to the US, which is a federal crime if shipped without the proper license.
Lawyers for Revereza, the partner who allegedly organized the shipment of the weapons by collecting money from Ro to bribe customs workers, also claimed Revereza was never told that the items being shipped included military grade weapons to be used by drug cartels in the US.

Ro admitted in Court that he never told Revereza that he was a Mexican mafia weapons dealer.

A Philippines customs official testified last week that Revereza had only worked in customs for 3 months in 2009 prior to the alleged crimes.

Prosecutors disputed the defense's claims by showing text messages from Revereza calling the items high powered guns while negotiating the prices for shipments.

Syjuco himself, as well as Ubaldo's family, Fil-Am case agent Dennis Lao and several other witnesses are also expected to testify over the coming days.