A RANKING official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was ordered relieved from his post on Tuesday along with 14 of his subordinate personnel in connection with the ongoing investigation on alleged irregularities in the processing of the License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF).
PNP chief Ricardo Marquez ordered the administrative relief of Chief Supt. Elmo Francis Sarona, chief of the Firearms and Explosive Office (FEO) and 14 of his men while investigation on the alleged irregularities in LTOPF is underway.
The PNP chief designated Senior Supt. Cesar Hawthorne Binag as FEO officer-in-charge.
Also ordered relieved from their post were Senior Insp. Edward Onate, SPO2 Darwin Miguel, SPO1 Edward Bondoc, PO3 Ferdinand Sapla, PO3 Alberto Dominong Jr., PO3 Ben Ferel, PO3 Joan Liza Young, PO3 Roy del Rosario, PO3 Rodel Crisostomo, PO3 Emmanuel Cajulao, and PO3 Bernard Catungal.
They were reassigned to the Office of the Director of the Civil Security Group along with Non-Uniformed Personnel (NUP) Audita Cabbab, NUP Emelia Lorenzo and NUP Edith Famillaran.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor clarified that the police official and his personnel were relieved to prevent them from influencing the outcome of the investigation.
Mayor said that Marquez approved their administrative relief upon the recommendation of Director Victor Deona, the chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
The investigation stemmed from two separate operations by the CIDG Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crime Unit (AFCCU) in November 2015 where undercover agents of the CIDG-AFCCU were able to obtain License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) certification sans the submission of the required documentary requirements for a package fee of P15,000.
The Chief PNP has also approved the recommendation of Deona to grant CIDG-AFCCU full access to FEO records to determine the extent of the irregularities and identify other fraudulent entries made into the LTOPF database.
This developed as the CIDG is set to file criminal cases for Falsification of Official Documents under Article 172 in relation to Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code against 12 persons for alleged falsification of Neuro-Psychiatric (NP) Clearance certificates recovered from personnel of Reloader Guns and Ammo Trading.
They were identified as Romeo Paul Taruc, John Roel Cruz and Ronnello Maningding Taruc, all officers of Reloader Guns and Ammo Trading.
Also facing charges are nine other persons whose names appear in spurious NP Clearance certificates. They were identified as Nelson Caballa, Renato Docin, Alvin O Chua, Edgar Derecho, Jayken Celi, Gabriel Estrella, Reginald Lee, Noel Susano and Michael Angelo Desquitado.