Ilocos town mayor faces charges for illegal guns, explosives
Posted: 2017-Jul-16 07.01.49 UTC+0800
LAOAG — Numerous firearms, live ammunition and explosives were recovered on Friday following a simultaneous search warrant operations in the properties of newly-installed town mayor Jessie Ermitanio in Marcos, Ilocos Norte.
Ermitanio's properties are located in Barangays Lydia, Elizabeth and Cacafean in Marcos town.
Police Supt. Amador Quiocho, commander of the Ilocos Norte Police Public Safety Command, said at least 16 search warrants were released to locate unlicensed firearms of Ermitanio and other suspected gun-for-hire groups being linked to him.
By law of succession, the former vice mayor assumed as the new mayor of Marcos town on June 7 following the murder of mayor Arsenio Agustin on June 3.
The team found several of the firearms and ammunition and seized them. Ermitanio, however, insisted all of the firearms are licensed.
Whether licensed or not, Police Senior Superintendent Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr., Provincial Director of the Ilocos Norte PNP said all the seized items will be subjected to ballistic and cross-matching examinations.
Ermitanio is also being implicated in the June 3 killing of Marcos town mayor Agustin after an arrested suspect turned witness Bernie Lazo identified him as the mastermind.
According to Lazo, Agustin and Ermitanio were closed allies but when the latter was ambushed last April 4, Ermitanio suspected that it was Agustin who ordered it.
In an interview, Ermitanio denied all allegations accusing the police of planting the recovered items against him. He insisted all his guns are properly licensed. (PNA)