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. – Rappler.com