The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges against several police officials allegedly involved in the anomalous issuance of firearm licenses for AK47 rifles from August 2011 to April 2013.
Charged at the Sandiganbayan were Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, Director Gil Meneses of the Civil Security Group, Director Napoleon Estilles of the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO), Chief Superintendents Tomas Rentoy 3rd and Regino Catiis, Senior Superintendents Eduardo Acierto and Allan Parreño, Supt. Nelson Bautista, Chief Inspector Ricardo Zapata Jr., Chief Inspector Ricky Sumalde, Senior Police Officers 1 Eric Tan, Randy De Sesto, and some non-uniformed personnel.
The Ombudsman said the respondents “conspired in facilitating, processing and approving the applications for firearm licenses of Caraga, Isla Security Agency (Isla), Claver Mineral Development Corporation and JTC Mineral Mining Corporation despite incomplete or falsified applications and supporting documents.”
“Most of the firearms were also released immediately even when some of the requests for their withdrawal from storage were not signed by the requester,” it said.
Investigators said Caraga was issued firearms licenses even if its license to operate had expired.
Caraga’s applications were also processed “without verifying the number of firearms already issued to it, which resulted in the issuance of licenses beyond the limit allowed by regulation.”
“[T]he public respondents failed to act in accordance with their respective duties in processing the questioned firearms license applications,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said. She also said “that their acts/and or omissions demonstrate that they are guilty of gross inexcusable negligence and evident bad faith.”
The Ombudsman filed 28 counts of graft against the respondents. A bail of P30,000 was recommended for each count.