ANGELES City -- A 58-year-old airgun smith owner in Barangay Cutcut here filed complaints against five officers of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) before the Ombudsman in connection with the “illegal” search of his home and confiscation of his licensed firearm.
Enrique Yutuc filed charges for violation of Revised Penal Code’s Article 183 (perjury), Article 308 (theft), and Article 129 (maliciously obtaining a search warrant) against Police Capt. Arvin Hosmillo, Police Chief MSgt. Nathaniel Gonzales, Police SSgt. Eliseo Mangulabnan, Police Chief MSgt. Warly Rodriguez, and Police SSgt. Samuel Garung.
In his formal complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City last June 20, Yutuc said the CIDG-Angeles City officers raided his ancestral family compound located on Sampaguita St., Barangay Cutcut last March 28.
The CIDG men were armed with a search warrant issued by the city’s Regional Trial Court Branch 59 for violation of Republic Act 10591 for possession of a .22 rifle, one .9mm pistol, one .45 pistol, and assorted magazine assembly with ammunition.
The warrant was issued after Gonzales, Mangulabnan and civilian agent Jaime Sarmiento submitted sworn statements to the court that they have personal knowledge of the alleged illegal activities of Yutuc.
Sarmiento, who identified himself as resident of Barangay Sta. Teresita here, in his sworn statement to the court alleged that he and his cousin were offered by Yutuc to buy firearms.
However, in his complaint, Yutuc attached a certification from the barangay council of Sta. Teresita that Sarmiento is not a resident of the barangay.
Sarmiento’s statement was crucial in the issuance of the search warrant against Yutuc.
“There was even discrepancy in the police report of the respondents where they stated that I was not in the premises while the police operation is ongoing. The truth is that respondent Hosmillo directed me to leave the compound and hide. I acted abruptly due to intimidation,” the complainant explained.
Yutuc added in his complaint that none of the firearms confiscated by the CIDG from his residence is subject of the search warrant.
Confiscated from his residence were three units of airgun rifles, which the CIDG operatives claimed in their report to be “converted” for firing .22 ammunition; three units airgun; one .22 Cadix magnum; one .22 pistol; three rounds of ammunition for .22 magnum; and one 12-gauge Winchester shotgun with serial no. M10538.
“What was alarming and confusing is the fact that the CIDG raiders even confiscated my FEO licensed firearm, the Winchester shotgun 12 gauge with serial number M10538, which is not a subject of the search warrant. It was licensed under my name as shown by the documents submitted by the CIDG to the DOJ,” Yutuc said, who denied that the allegedly converted airgun rifles are capable of firing live ammunition.
Yutuc earlier filed a counter-affidavit with counter-charge before the City Prosecutor’s Office where he was charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition under RA 10591 by the CIDG-Angeles City.
Meanwhile, the CIDG-Angeles City officers said they were able to personally verify that he was engaged in illegal sale of firearms before securing a search warrant from the court. They said since Yutuc was not around, his son voluntarily surrendered the airguns and firearms that they confiscated. They also said that the search was conducted in an orderly manner and in accordance with the law and in the presence of barangay officials and court representative.