7 assault rifles, pistol seized from vice mayoralty bet in Maguindanao

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Cotabato City, Philippines

Authorities seized seven undocumented assault rifles and a pistol from a barangay chairman in Barira town in Maguindanao on Friday, July 1.

Usop Sanggacala Aron, chairman of Barangay Ruminimbang in Barira, is now detained at the office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (CIDG-BAR).

Aron lost his bid for the vice mayoral post of Barira during the May 9, 2022 elections.

Brig. Gen. Arthur Cabalona, director of the Bangsamoro regional police, said the CIDG-BAR’s operation that led to the arrest of Aron was assisted by personnel of the region’s Special Action Force and the Barira Municipal Police Station.

“We ought to give the men and officers of the CIDG-BAR a tap on their shoulders for the feat,” Cabalona said.

In an initial statement Friday, the CIDG-BAR said its agents found in the house of Aron in Barira five M16 rifles, one fitted with a launcher for 40 millimeter grenade projectile, an M14 rifle and a .380 caliber pistol.

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The CIDG-BAR said Aron failed to show licenses for the firearms recovered in his house that law-enforcement operatives searched Friday based on a written order from a court.

The suspect shall be prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms, according to the CIDG-BAR. (John Unson)

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