A policeman and two others have been arrested by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents for allegedly selling explosives in Compostela Valley.
NBI spokesman Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin identified the arrested suspects as PO2 Glenn Magalso, who supplies the explosives; Feliz Aleria and his son Mark Aleria.
Lavin said the three were arrested by agents of the NBI’s Special Task Force (NBI-STF) in two consecutive entrapment operations in Tagum City, Davao del, Norte last Nov. 22.
The agents seized from the suspects P270,000 worth of materials including 375 kilograms of ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel and oil; 1,000 meters of safety fuse; 86 meters of safety fuse; and 1,500 pieces of non-electric blasting cap.
If activated and armed, the materials could decimate a whole barangay.
“This (NBI operation) started with the information that wide-scale distribution and sale of illegal explosives were being undertaken in the area of Compostela Valley,” said Lavin.
He explained the suspects had been illegally selling the explosives to unlicensed miners in Mt. Diwalwal, Compostela Valley.
However, Lavin said there are reports that not only illegal miners are buying the explosives.
“We have information that this has reached the hands of also the insurgents, the NPA (New People’s Army), and the terrorist, the Abu Sayyaf,” he disclosed.
NBI-STF chief Gerold Jeralde admitted they have yet to determine how the suspects got hold of the explosives.
“We are still in the process of conducting an in-depth investigation regarding the source of these explosives,” Jeralde said.
The Alerias were the first to be arrested inside a van at a gas station in Tagum City on the night of Nov. 22 after an informant arranged for their meeting with agents acting as poseur-buyer in purchasing the explosives.
While the Alerias were in NBI custody, agents learned they were being called by Magalso who was demanding the proceeds of the explosives he gave to the Alerias.
With this, the NBI set up the Alerias to meet with Magalso which resulted in the policeman’s arrest.
“He (Magalso) tried to escape, he tried to resist but agents were able to subdue him,” Lavin said.
The seized explosives are now in the custody of the 11th Forward Security Service of the Philippine Army in Davao City. (Jeffrey Damicog)