The Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed the ruling of the Department of Justice (DoJ) in filing charges against four officials of a gun company for the unlawful sale of ammunition which authorities said were used in the bloody Maguindanao massacre in November 2009.
The decision of the CA Special 17th Division, written by Associate Justice Eduardo Peralta Jr. and concurred in by Associate Justices Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla and Nina Antonio Valenzuela, affirmed the DOJ’s finding of probable cause against the accused.
The appeals court found no merit in the appeal filed by Arms Corporation of the Philippines (Armscor) officers Victor Karunungan, Eduardo Santos, Lyn Demartin Justo and Melva Valdez Libao against the DoJ’s May 13, 2011 and October 11, 2013 resolutions.
A series of raids conducted by the police after the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre led to the discovery that some of the firearms used by terrorists in Maguindanao belonged to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
A probe conducted by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group found that pieces of ammunition in Maguindanao came from Armscor, based on their lot numbers.
Investigators found that it was Police Supt. Bahnarin Kamaong, then group director of the 15th Regional Mobile Group, Police Regional Office of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, who ordered the purchase from Armscor despite the lack of permission from the PNP Firearms and Explosives Division.
The transactions were made on cash basis, in the total amount of P20 million, for the full payment of one million rounds of ammunition or two batches of 500,000 rounds of ammunition.
Also purchased from Armscor were 500,000 rounds of cartridge ball 5.56-mm full metal jacket combat ammunition.