BULUAN, Maguindanao -- Joint police and military operatives arrested a 60-year-old gunsmith in a remote village here following a law enforcement operation early Friday.
The suspect, Abusama Abpun, allegedly assembles guns and rifles for the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), according to Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, commander of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion.
Elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CIDG – ARMM), headed by Senior Supt. James Gulmatico, served the search warrant against Abpun at 6 a.m.
The seized firearms included three M4 Carbine rifles, one M1 Carbine rifle, six homemade 9-mm. Thomgram machine pistols, a 12-gauge shotgun, a tripod for a .50-caliber heavy machinegun, and several unassembled firearms.
Gulmatico said the suspect was the source of firearms for criminal elements, including the BIFF operating in Maguindanao’s second district.
He said an informant showed police and military authorities a video of Abpun repairing a firearm of a BIFF member.
The video also showed various guns manufactured by the suspect.
Cabunoc noted that the campaign against lawlessness has been gaining ground.
"We have removed another logistics support source of the BIFF,” he said.
Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, has commended the troops on their latest accomplishment.
"I am extending my appreciation to the soldiers and policemen who successfully implemented this law enforcement action,” Sobejana said in a statement.
Cabunoc said his unit had dismantled a total of three gun factories in the past two years, mostly suppliers of locally-made firearms, including .50-caliber Barrett rifle copies, to the BIFF.