CEBU CITY — A joint police operation on Wednesday night yielded 50 illegally-manufactured firearms worth PHP200,000 seized from a 45-year-old businessman in Danao City.
Romel Pinote of Barangay Suba, was arrested at 9:14 p.m. Wednesday by virtue of a search warrant issued by Presiding Judge Jacinto Fajardo Jr. of Talisay City Regional Trial Court Branch 66.
Cebu Police Provincial Office Director Eric Noble said Pinote has been under surveillance due to reports about his illegal firearms business.
Superintendent Joie Yape Jr., chief of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) who led the operation, also said Pinote was financing the illegal manufacture of firearms, locally known as “paltik” in Danao City.
“Danao has been known to be producing illegal firearms since 1991, that’s why the Police Regional Office-7 are doing their very best to stop these illegal selling and manufacturing of unlicensed firearms,” PRO-7 Director Jose Mario Espino told reporters late Thursday afternoon.
Recovered from Pinote’s possession were various unlicensed handguns of different calibres including 11 .38-cal revolvers, 14 .45-cal pistols, six .9mm Black Widow knockoffs, and 19 .22-cal Black Widows.
Police also seized 33 magazine clips for .45-cal, eight magazine clips for .9mm, and 20 pairs of hand grips for caliber 45 handguns.
In an interview with the media Thursday morning, Pinote said he was not into manufacturing of firearms, but only does the finishing touches and brokering for the product.
Pinote is under the custody of the Cebu Provincial Police Office pending the filing of appropriate charges against him.
The raiding team was composed of elements from the PIB, Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, Provincial Public Safety Company, and Danao City Police. With USJR intern Levirose Caballero/PNA-northboundasia.com