MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) seized 26 sacks of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in blast fishing, during a raid on a house in Sta. Cruz, Manila yesterday.
NBI Anti-Organized Crime Division chief Rogelio Mamauag reported that agents also arrested Jorel Antonio, who owns the house. Antonio denied owning the sacks of ammonium nitrate and being part of a group selling the chemical. He said the sacks, which had been labeled as pig feed, were stored in his house and he did not know they were illegal.
Antonio was charged with violating Presidential Decree 1866, as amended by Republic Act 9516, or the unlawful sale, disposition or possession of explosive ingredients, before the Manila prosecutor’s office.
The NBI reported that the raid stemmed from an informant’s claim that couple Willy and Belle Sanchez, along with Willy’s sister, Malou Sanchez, were engaged in selling the ammonium nitrate at P3,000 per sack.
NBI agents said they conducted a successful test buy and were able to get a search warrant issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Lucia Purugganan to raid the house.
The Sanchezes were not arrested during the raid and is now the subject of an NBI manhunt, Mamauag said.