A former soldier allegedly involved in a gun-for-hire scheme was arrested by police authorities on Thursday after he was flagged down at a checkpoint on Marcos Highway in Antipolo City.
According to Emil Sumangil’s report on “24 Oras,” police authorities were monitoring the suspect, identified as Francisco Gerona, due to intelligence information.
“Initial information na ibigay sa atin, darating dito ‘yung isang hitman. Malaking tao. Gerona brothes nga ang term eh,” Antipolo police chief Police Colonel Jose Arandia said.
The authorities retrieved high-caliber weapons rifles and pistols, numerous bullets, and a long knife among other weapons from the suspect’s car. The plate number used by Gerona was also found to be fake.
Police authorities said the suspect had been leaving and entering Antipolo in the past few days due to a job.
“Dati siyang army officer. Malalaking tao ang tina-target nila kasi may mga tao din siyang hawak,” Arandia said.
The Antipolo police said Gerona was a 2nd lieutenant before he was removed from service after three-year imprisonment in 2010 due to a case of attempted murder.
Authorities are currently investigating crimes in which they claimed he is involved. They will also perform a ballistic test on the weapons retrieved from the suspect.
Meanwhile, the bullets the authorities retrieved also had a green tip, which police said are special ammunition.
“Green tip kung tawagin o SS109… ‘yung SS109 ginagamit ‘yan ng mga sniper. Precise kung gamitin ito atsaka malakas ang impact,” Arandia said.
Two other individuals who were with the suspect are also in police custody.
Gerona, meanwhile, denied that he owned the guns. He has been charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
“Sa totoo lang sir wala naman ako gamit na, hindi ko talaga alam na may sakay ako na ganyang gamit,” he said. — Joahna Lei Casilao/BM, GMA News