A suspected member of a big gun-running syndicate was arrested Wednesday by authorities at a parking lot of a motel in Pasig City.
The suspect, identified as John Medina, 41, was surprised and did not offer any resistance when operatives of the Criminal Investigaton and Detection Group of the Eastern Police District (CIDG-EPD) pounced on him.
Recovered from the suspect were a .22 caliber revolver and a .9mm pistol. Both firearms were unlicensed.
Also recovered from Medina were two sachets of shabu with an estimated street value of P60,000.
“One of our informants tipped us that the suspect is involved in gunrunning and illegal drugs trade,” said Chief Insp. Benigno Meneses, head of the CIDG-EPD.
The authorities believe Medina is one of the lieutenants of a big criminal syndicate operating in Metro Manila.
However, Medina denied alleged ties with any crime syndicate, claiming he had been into illegal business for barely a month.
He also refused to name his supplier of the contrabands.
Medina’s denials will be tested in court when he faces trial on charges of violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and Republic Act 9164 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002.
The police are particularly interested in the case of Medina which came as the country is gearing for the 2019 midterm elections when gun-for-hire groups and goons of political warlords often figure in violent incidents.
Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, spokesman for Philippine National Police, had said earlier their latest monitoring revealed there were at least 77 private armed groups actively operating in the country, 72 of them in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“As of second quarter of 2018, we have 77 active private armed groups with 2,060 members. They are armed with at least 1,574 firearms,” Durana said.