PNP chief sacks firearms office head

Bea Cupin
PNP chief sacks firearms office head
The PNP's CIDG had earlier conducted sting operations to nab Camp Crame personnel who sold Licenses to Own and Possess Firearms for a fee

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday, February 23, announced the administrative relief of its Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) chief pending an investigation into “alleged irregularities” in the processing of Licenses to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF).

In a news release, the PNP said its chief Director General Ricardo Marquez relieved Chief Superintendent Elmo Francis Sarona from the FEO, alongside 14 of his subordinates. Appointed officer-in-charge of the FEO is Senior Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

The FEO, among other things, processes permits to own firearms, and permits for the firearms. It is among the top income-generating offices in the entire PNP. 

The PNP said “the relief is a procedural administrative action to prevent these personnel from influencing the outcome of the investigation.” 

The following were also relieved and reassigned to the office of the Civil Security Group (CSG) director: 

Senior Inspector Edward Oñate

Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Darwin G Miguel

SPO1 Edward R Bondoc

PO3 Ferdinand S Sapla

PO3 Alberto N Dominong Jr.

PO3 Ben P Ferel

PO3 Joan Liza Z Young

PO3 Roy Del Rosario 

PO3 Rodel B Crisostomo

PO3 Emmanuel D Cajulao

PO3 Bernard C Catungal

Non-uniformed Personnel (NUP) Audita B Cabbab

NUP Emelia L Lorenzo

NUP Edith T Famillaran

Marquez’ decision to suspend Sarona and his subordinates came after the recommendation of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Director Victor Deona. It was the CIDG’s Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit (AFFCU) that conducted sting operations to nab Camp Crame officials who issued LTOPF certificates without the submission of required documents. 

The “package” to process the LTOPF cost P15,000, according to the PNP. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.