Masbate cop linked to gunrunning slain


A policeman reportedly involved in gunrunning activities in the province of Masbate was killed on Saturday by his colleagues in a shootout during an entrapment operation.

The Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) headed by Col. Flynn E. Dongbo identified the policeman as Staff Sergeant Garfilo N. Pahilino Jr., who was assigned as an intelligence operative of the Placer, Masbate Municipal Police Station.

PNP-IMEG operatives were about to arrest Pahilino after he allegedly sold three .38-caliber revolvers and one .45-caliber pistol to a poseur-cop buyer when the suspect drew a gun and started shooting at the arresting officers.

This resulted in a shootout which resulted in Pahilino’s death.

PNP-IMEG director Brig. Gen. Dongbo said the suspect was allegedly involved in selling loose firearms to criminal elements in Masbate.

According to the IMEG, Pahilino had also links with the Bustillos drug group and was suspected to have operated a protection racket for some drug suspects in the province.

Aside from the firearms Pahilino sold to a poseur buyer, police operatives were also able to recover the suspect’s service 9mm pistol with two extra magazines and the buy-bust money topped by a marked bill.

PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said the operation was part of the efforts by the PNP to ensure the credible and orderly holding of elections in May next year.

The PNP chief earlier ordered aggressive operations to account for loose firearms and members and leaders of private armed groups as part of the early election security preparations.

“This will serve as a strong message to those who plan to undermine our democratic process that the Philippine National Police will not hesitate to use the full force of the law against anybody even if they are our colleagues just to ensure that our communities are safe and the true will of the people shall reflect in the Halalan 2022,” Eleazar said.

The PNP chief lauded the IMEG operatives for the successful operation.

“I commend the operatives of our Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group for their successful operation that led to the neutralization of a leader of a gun-running syndicate in Masbate who was unfortunately one of our own,” he said.

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