By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) here revealed on Tuesday that firearms stolen from two police officers were recovered from the encounter between the military troopers and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental last week.
The guns included the Springfield M14 rifle issued to Police Corporal Jose Ray Bringuez, who was then assigned in Sipalay City Police Station in Negros Occidental; and a .45-caliber pistol personally owned by Police Staff Sergeant Ranulfo Estrada, who was previously assigned in Guihulngan City Police Station in Negros Oriental.
According to Nocppo, these firearms were stolen from the police officers when the NPA stormed a police detachment at Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City on April 30, 2010, and ransacked the La Libertad Municipal Police Station in Negros Oriental on November 3, 2009.
The status of these firearms was confirmed through the Logistics Data Information Management System (LDIMS) and PNP Firearms and Explosives Unit.
These were confiscated from the rebels in the July 6 clash with the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB), Provincial Mobile Force Company, and the 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company (33rd DRC) in Barangay Santol, following reports on the alleged presence of unidentified armed men in the area, that killed four NPA rebels.
The provincial police office maintained that the clash was a legitimate operation, contrary to the claim of the rebel group.