CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Firearms and assorted rounds of ammunition were seized, while a person was arrested in simultaneous operations conducted by the Martial Law Special Action Group (MLSAG) in barangays Pagatpat and Bonbon in this city Friday morning, July 28.
By virtue of a search warrant, MLSAG operatives raided the houses of Jalaludin Bacaraman Lao in Mindanao Homes, Pagatpat, and brothers Jabar and Jameloding Tago, in Zone 5, Barangay Bonbon.
Only Jameloding was arrested as Lao and Jabar were not present during the operation.
Seized from Lao’s house were an M4 5.56mm rifle; two caliber .45 pistol; a caliber .38 pistol and assorted bullets, while confiscated from the Tagos were an M4 5.56mm rifle; an AK47 rifle; two caliber .40 pistols; five caliber .45 pistol; three 9mm pistols; and assorted ammunition.
Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said that, while these persons of interest will face illegal possession of firearms and ammunition charges, Lao will also likely face another case as he has been linked to gun smuggling activity in Northern Mindanao.
Martinez said Lao has direct link to the confiscated 8,000 rounds of high powered bullets last June at a warehouse in Camaman-an, this city, supposedly destined for Marawi City, where government forces are still fighting terrorist elements of the Maute Group.
Martinez said Lao is suspected to operate in a wide market in Northern Mindanao, and that they are looking into the possibility that he might also be one of the sources of guns used by the communist rebels.
Meanwhile, regarding the Tago brothers’ case, intelligence reports alleged they were illegally in possession of guns, which prompted authorities to conduct a search of their residence.
Martinez said the Tagos were fingered by tipsters after the February 19, 2017 shootout outside the ‘Ukay-ukay’ store owned by Jabar at Yacapin-Daumar Streets, this city, that left three people dead, including Jabar’s relative who tended the store.
Operatives went to Jabar’s store where documents and papers were handed to authorities to justify the legality of the firearms.
Jameloding was brought to the 4th Infantry Division’s Camp Evangelista in Barangay Patag, this city, for detention and further processing.