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PIA Press Release

Suspected arms supplier to NPA arrested in Camarines Sur

by HM Cabunoc

Camp Elias Angeles, Pili, Camarines Sur (21 June) -- Government troops swooped down on a safehouse and arrested a suspected NPA arms supplier in Camarines Sur yesterday, a military officer said.

Major Harold M Cabunoc, 9ID Spokesperson said that combined elements of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion led by First Lieutenant Rolando Granados and Camarines Sur Police Provincial Office (PPO) under Police Senior Inspector Henry Canuel, collared a certain Efren Flores, 55 years old, a resident of Felix Plazo, Brgy Igualdad, Naga City, while illegally selling firearms to an intelligence operatives posing as a buyer in Barangay La Purisima, Quipayo, Calabanga, Camarines Sur at around 2:15pm yesterday.

Seized from the suspect include one Cal.357 Smith&Wesson revolver, one Cal.380 Lorcin pistol and several rounds of live ammunitions.

LtCol Cirilito Sobejana, Commander of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, said that they had been monitoring the activities of the suspect for the past 3 months after receiving a tip-off from one of the former rebels about the source of their weapons.

"As planned, we are supposed to buy some high-powered firearms such as M14 assault rifles from the suspect, but he was not able to bring them as he promised. We had already conducted a'test-buy' of some weapons prior to this operation," Sobejana said.

The suspect was immediately turned over to CamSur PPO as appropriate criminal cases are readied against him.

The Army forces in Bicol is trying to control the flow of weapons and ammunitions to the rebel group after the series of successful encounters and NPA surrender which yielded a cache of weapons starting in January 2009 until today.

Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, lauded the efficient coordination between the PNP and the Philippine Army, resulting to the success of the operation. (DPAO 9ID PA) [top]

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