EIGHTY pieces of home-made caliber .38 revolvers or ‘paltik’ believed buried by members of a criminal gang in Talisay City in Cebu were recovered by the local police shortly before noon Tuesday, Police Regional Office 7 director, Chief Superintendent Debold M. Sinas announced yesterday.
The official said members of the Talisay City Police Station found the home-made weapons covered with soil on a cliff beside the road in Sitio 5, Barangay Kampo 4, Talisay City at 10:15 a.m. following an information from local village officials.
Sinas said it turned out that a group of children collecting firewood in the area spotted portion of the sacks carrying the weapons and immediately reported their find to Bgy. Kampo 4 officials who immediately called the attention of the local police.
Officers who went to the site found 4 sacks containing the firearms while covered with soil on a cliff beside the road. The guns are easily worth P400,000 at P5,000 each.
Sinas said the guns were believed to have been ‘abandoned or hidden’ in the area for 3-4 months already by members of the Jerome Labitad Group, an organized crime syndicate being targeted for neutralization by the Talisay City police force.
Labitad is the no. 1 most wanted person in Talisay City.
“We have reasons to believe that the guns were owned by the Labitad Group since their known hideout is located just about 75 meters away from the area where the home-made revolvers were discovered,” Sinas said.
The Central Visayas police director said the Labitad Group has been the subject of at least two simultaneous anti-criminality raids by the Talisay City police amid their involvement in drug trafficking, gun-for-hire and gun trafficking activities.
“The leaders of the group were believed to have relocated their operations in the other barangays of Talisay City in the aftermath of the all-out police operations to get them,” Sinas said.
As of yesterday, the official said follow-up operations are still underway to locate more firearms believed to have been hidden by the gang members.
The guns were believed to have been purchased by the syndicate from clandestine gun manufacturers in Cebu for use in their criminal activities.