A POLICEMAN who is allegedly involved in illegal arms selling was killed in a shootout with police operatives during an entrapment operation in Placer, Masbate last Saturday, October 23.
The Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) headed by Police Col. Flynn Dongbo identified the cop as PSSgt. Garfilo Pahilino Jr., who was assigned as an intelligence operative of the Placer Municipal Police Station.
“Masbate is one of those places with a long history of election-related violence. I believe that the successful operation of the IMEG against Police Staff Sgt. Garfilo Pahilino Jr. will have a big effect in the proliferation of illegal arms that may be used in the coming elections,” PNP Chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said.
He likewise lauded the IMEG operatives for their successful operation.
“I commend the operatives of our Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group for their successful operation that led to the neutralization of a leader of a gun-running syndicate in Masbate who was unfortunately one of our own,” said PGen Eleazar.
PNP-IMEG operatives were about to arrest Pahilino after he allegedly sold three units of caliber .38 revolver and one unit of Norinco caliber .45 pistol to a poseur buyer, when the suspect drew a gun and started shooting at the arresting officers.
This resulted in a shootout which resulted in Pahilino’s death.
PNP-IMEG director PBGen Dongbo said the suspect was allegedly involved in selling loose firearms in Masbate province to criminal elements.
According to the IMEG, Pahilino supposedly also had links to the Bustillos drug group and was suspected to have operated a protection racket for some drug suspects in the province.
Aside from the firearms Pahilino sold to a poseur buyer, police operatives were also able to recover the suspect’s 9mm service pistol with two extra magazines and the buy-bust money topped by a marked bill.
PGen Eleazar said the operation was part of the efforts of the PNP to ensure the credible and orderly holding of elections in May next year. The PNP Chief earlier ordered aggressive operations to account for loose firearms and members and leaders of private armed groups as part of the early election security preparations.
“This will serve as a strong message to those who plan to undermine our democratic process that the Philippine National Police will not hesitate to use the full force of the law against anybody, even if one of our own, just to ensure that our communities are safe and the true will of the people shall reflect for the Halalan 2022,” the Chief PNP said.