ORMOC CITY – Two individuals are currently detained in the locked-up cell of the local police in Tabango, Leyte, following their arrest for possession of unlicensed firearms.
The detainees have been identified as Nandy Diaz, 40, and Bonifacio Bulante, 25, both residents of Brgy. Manlawaan, Tabango. They were apprehended in Sitio Shamrock, Barangay Poblacion of the aforementioned town around 10:59 am on Wednesday (Feb. 28).
According to the report from the local police, PCMS Gregg Ramirez, while on duty at the established Police Assistance Center (PAC), noticed the suspects riding a single motorcycle and behaving suspiciously. Upon sensing the presence of law enforcement, the suspects diverted their route towards the Shan establishment in Brgy. Poblacion.

Ramirez promptly alerted their chief of police, PCPT Carmelo Gacho, about the situation, and they pursued the motorcycle. Upon reaching the location, they approached the suspects.

During the approach, the responding officers observed the hammer of a firearm protruding from an open belt bag carried by the suspects. The officers then questioned the suspects regarding their authorization to carry firearms, to which they failed to provide any documentation, leading to their arrest.

Confiscated from Diaz’s possession were one .45 caliber pistol with a defaced serial number (Paltik), along with a magazine loaded with seven live ammunitions, an additional magazine loaded with six live ammunitions, and one belt bag. Bulante was found with one unit of .45 Caliber pistol, and a magazine loaded with four live ammunition.

Diaz, one of the suspects, is currently facing charges for the killing of the former chairman of Brgy Manlawaan, Salvador Troyo, last year.

Tabango, situated in the 3rd congressional district of Leyte, has been plagued by ongoing shooting incidents, often involving barangay officials. Just last week, unidentified perpetrators killed five elected barangay officials and a tanod member.

The suspects were informed of the nature of their arrest and their constitutional rights in a language they understood.

The police have filed charges of violations of RA 10591, the Comprehensive Law against Illegal Possession of Firearm, ammunition, and explosives against the two suspects, who are temporarily detained at the Tabango municipal police station. (ROBERT DEJON)