Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat (Image from Google Maps)
ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat — Police on Saturday arrested 10 members of a private armed group in three houses in Barangay Poblacion in this town and seized 25 assorted high-powered guns, hand grenades, rifle grenades, and more than 1,400 rounds of ammunition for various calibers of firearms.
The group was led by retired Army Master Sgt. Rodolfo Ecija, father of Mayor Randy Ecija of Sen. Ninoy Aquino town.
“They were private armed followers of Ecija. Seven of them were retired soldiers,” Senior Supt. Raul Supiter, chief of the Sultan Kudarat Police Provincial Office, told the Inquirer at his office in Isulan.
The 65-year old Ecija and his men did not resist arrest when Supiter and other police officers presented the search warrant issued by Judge Alandrex M. Betoya of Regional Trial Court Branch 16 in Kabacan, North Cotabato for violations of Republic Act 10591 – that is illegal possession of light weapons.
Also arrested were retired Sgt. Rufino Lama, Augusto Terosa, Calvin Lakandula Jr., Joel Gardose, Glenn Brillantes, Richard Devaras, Joven Andrada, Romeo Momo, and Reynaldo Dalayon – all residents of Purok Liwayway, Barangay Poblacion, Sen. Ninoy Aquino town.
Supiter said Mayor Ecija was not included in the search warrant although he was present during the raid.
Supiter said they were arrested in three houses that served as outposts for armed men in Barangay Poblacion.
The suspects are now detained at Sultan Kudarat police provincial jail in Barangay Kalawag, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. /atm
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.