Where did 900 high-powered guns go, police ask

By Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2014 10:37 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2014 11:55 PM

MANILA -- The police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said it is more than halfway done in its investigation on the 900 firearms that were registered with the Philippine National Police (PNP) that later went missing.

Police Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo explained that they first encountered the problem when the PNP leadership launched "Oplan Katok," a campaign focused on the accounting of licensed firearms.

"Nung hinanap namin, nawawala yung madaming nalisensyahan. Yung iba fictitious yung pangalan ng nag-apply at yung address nila," Fajardo said.

More than 10 PNP personnel in active duty are being investigated for possible involvement in the disappearance of the high-powered firearms, including controlled commercial firearms like the AK-47.

Among those made to explain before the CIDG is Police Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, former chief of the Firearms and Explosives Office and now director of PNP Region 3.

Petrasanta is considered a top contender for the position of next chief of the PNP.

Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong, head of the CIDG, pegged their progress at about 60 percent.

He said they will be neutral in their investigation no matter who they run against.

"Tamaan na kung sino ang tatamaan," said Magalong, echoing the directive of PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima.

The CIDG said the missing high-powered firearms in question appear to have gone to several security agencies, mining companies, and private groups.

They clarified that the AK-47s were not purchased by nor should be part of the PNP armory, rather they are just commercial items that are regulated by the PNP.