Mindanao mayor's house raided

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Latest News Philippines: Mindanao mayor's house raided – Journal.com.ph:

AGENTS of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and the Philippine National Police on Saturday raided a Lanao del Sur mayor’s house and seized a cache of illegal weapons and ammunition including an M-60 machinegun, officials said yesterday.

However, the raid became controversial after Mayor Mohammad Ali Aboh Abinal of Marantao, Lanao del Sur reportedly was set free and placed under the custody of Lanao del Sur Governor Bombit Adiong without any charges being filed against him by the police.

An investigation is now underway in the wake of an order from President Benigno Aquino III, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan LM Purisima to enforce the law without fear or favor and go after maintainers of partisan armed groups and loose weapons regardless of their political affiliation.

Reports said members of the PAOCC under Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. and Chief Supt. Reginald D. Villasanta joined the search in Mayor Abinal’s house.

The mayor reportedly personally received the search warrant presented by joint elements of the PAOCC, Joint Special Task Force Ranao, the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Special Action Force and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Police Regional Office’s Regional Special Operations Group  6 a.m. Saturday.

The raid led to the confiscation of an M-60 machinegun, an M-14 rifle, two M-16 automatic rifles, a caliber .22 rifle, a cal. .45 pistol and dozens of assorted ammunition including M-203 ball cartridges.

The raid was conducted based on a search warrant for violation of Presidential Decree 1866 or illegal possession of firearms and ammunition issued by Quezon City Judge Bernelito Fernandez.

Officials said Mayor Abinal himself received the search warrant in the presence of his lawyers Dimnatang Saro and Jam Besar. He and the seized weapons were later taken to the Joint Special Task Force Ranao headquarters in Marawi City.

A police report said eight hours after search warrant was served, Lanao del Sur Gov. Adiong arrived at the JSTF Ranao headquarters and reportedly asked that he be allowed to place Mayor Abinal under his custody.

After about 15 minutes in the camp, Gov. Adiong left the JSTF Ranao headquarters along with Mayor Abinal after allegedly signing an oath of undertaking for the mayor’s transfer of custody reportedly drafted by CIDG-ARMM personnel.

The signatories to the alleged oath of undertaking were Gov. Adiong, one Mayor Sumagayan of Taraka municipality and Assemblyman Gandamara of the 1st District of Lanao del Sur with the approval of Marawi City Prosecutor Usap Abas.

Officials said that as of yesterday, no charges have been filed against the mayor yet because the  inquest proceeding is yet to be conducted.


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