Feb. 09, 2007
100 bags of explosives seized
NBI agents conduct five simultaneous raids in Medeliin, confiscate items worth over P250T
ALMOST 100 sacks of explosive ammonium nitrate were seized by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in a pre-dawn five-point simultaneous raid in the northern town of Medeliin, Cebu yesterday.
The items, worth over quarter of a million in the streets, were seized from three separate locations al-legedly all owned by Medeliin Municipal Councilor Rene Olivar, who eluded arrest. Olivar is reportedly running for reelection this May. An NBI source said Olivar has been the subject of a similar operation before but was unable to provide details. Five separate search warrants, all signed by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Geraldine Faith Econg, were used in the operation. The contraband, said NBI 7 Director Medardo de Lemos was enough to make several thousands of dynamite sticks and a lot more than what was used in the Bali, Indonesia bombings. Illegal fishing
"It is enough to level to the ground any mall here in Cebu City," said Ernesto Macabare, the bureau's head agent and executive officer.
The explosives, agents believe, were most probably for illegal fishing.
Olivar, de Lemos said, is asked to report to the NBI office and submit himself to charges, adding that lawyer Antonio Oposa of the Visayan Sea Squadron is preparing a bounty for his arrest if he does not surrender before formal charges are filed.
Olivar's caretaker, identified as Segundino Quizon, is in custody.
Special Investigators Gregorio Tumagan and Florante Gaoiran said Cuizon was at Olivar's Barangay Lamitak Norte farm when they overran the place. Six bags. They only got six bags from the place, though. The other areas raided were a storehouse near the residence of Olivar's parents in Barangay Tindog. The place yielded 30 bags of ammonium nitrate. Likewise hit was a room at the Olivar Beach Resort. Agent Greg Algoso, who led the team, seized 60 bags. The two other areas— Olivar's house and an extension of the home of his parents-in-law—yielded nothing.
"A certification from the Philippine National Police Firearms Explosives Security Agencies and Guards Supervisory Section revealed that respondent is not authorized to possess explosives, particularly the seized items," the agents said in a joint-affidavit issued after the operation. KNR