Ex-politician aide yields cache of firearms, ammo in N Ecija raid

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — A cache of high-powered firearms were seized in an “armory” of a former aide of a polician in Nueva Ecija, following a raid in his residence by lawmen at Barangay Langla, Jaen town dawn Friday.

The suspect — Roderick Franciso Mauricio, of 73 Gumamela Street — did not resist arrest and admitted owning 20 fierarms mostly handguns, said Senior Supt. Rhoderick Armamento, Chief Directorial Staff – Police Regional Office 3 (CDS-PRO3).

Loose firearms. A policeman checks the cache of firearms seized from an aide of a former politician in Nueva Ecija.(Jess Malabanan)

“These guns are my collections and were never used in any criminal activities. I’m just a gun enthusiast. I bought these firearms since 2008,” Mauricio said when presented to media by the police.

Armamento said the suspect is a caretaker of an Antique Shop owned by a former Jaen town vice mayor. He said the firearms were found in an “armory” of Mauricio’s residence.

“We are surpirsed when a raiding team found the firearms inside Mauricio’s residence,” Armamento told reporters during a press conference in this regional police headquarters Friday.

His salary as caretaker of an Antique shop, Armamento said, is not enough to buy even one handgun.

Police sources however said Mauricio is into “rediscounting” business and formerly a member of a local gun club in Nueva Ecija.

Armamento said the raid was conducted on the strength of a search warrant issued by Judge Celso Baguio of the Gapan City Regional Trial Court (RTC) against Mauricio for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The raiding team led by Supt. Jay Dimaandal, head of the Special Concern Unit of the Regional Intelligence Division (SCU-RID), said several handguns including two caliber 45 pistols; a caliber 30 carbine and a 9mm caliber are covered by licenses.

Other handguns which don’t have licenses, Dimaandal said, are an M4 caliber 5.56; four caliber 45 pistols; two 9mm pistols; a caliber 38 revolver; a caliber 380 walter PPK; a caliber magnum 357; a caliber 25 and four caliber 22 airguns.

Since the Commission on Elections gunban took effect, Armamento said a total of 164 loose firearms have been confiscated by the police in different provinces in Central Luzon. He said the bulk came from Nueva Ecija.

“The focus of our campaign against loose firearms is in Nueva Ecija. As you all know the province has history of violence during election period,” said Armamento.

Meanwhile, Mauricio is detained at the SCU detention cell pending the filing of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition (multiple counts) in court.

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