THE Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Thursday said it will file criminal and administrative charges against five senior police officers in connection with missing AK-47 assault rifles that turned out to be in the custody of leftist rebels in Mindanao.
CIDG chief Director Benjamin Magalong said two of the officers charged for the more than 1,000 missing assault rifles are still active in service.
To be charged are former PNP Civil Security Group head Director Gil Meneses, Central Luzon Police Director Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Chief Supt. Tomas Rentoy of the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies, Senior Supt. Regie Catiis and Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto Jr.
Magalong said the PNP is almost done with its investigation and the charges will be filed before the office of the Ombudsman.
The CIDG chief said some of the officers have already retired from the police service and others have opted to go on a non-duty status, Petrasanta and Acierto still remain in active police service.
Earlier reports said that Twin Pines Inc., a licensed importer of firearms, gun parts, ammunitions and shooting accessories, sold the AK-47 and M-16 Armalite rifles to JTC Mineral Mining Corp. operating in the Caraga region.
The weapons were supposed to be used by the mining firm’s security forces against the New People’s Army and other criminals in the region.
However, police officers tasked to conduct a nationwide gun check discovered last year that the weapons were missing from JTC’s inventory.
The five police officials have initially claimed that the purchase of the high-powered firearms was “aboveboard” and passed all the requirements.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd, however, got wind of the alleged anomaly and ordered PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima to conduct a deeper investigation.