By AARON RECUENCO
A policeman who was tagged as one of the main suppliers of firearms to political warlords in northern part of Luzon was arrested while selling a high-powered firearm near the national police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said a background check also disclosed that Police Officer 2 Jai Awal Pingli has been the major source of guns for his relatives who are reportedly engaged in kidnap-for-ransom activities in Zamboanga City.
“He is involved in gunrunning activities in Region 1, Cordillera particularly in Kalinga province and National Capital Region where some of his customers are politicians,” said Durana.
After verifying the information, operatives of the Counter-Intelligence Task Force and the police intelligence agents collared Pingli on Tuesday along 3rd Avenue in Bagong Lipunan ng Crame, Quezon City.
Pingli, who is assigned to Station 1 of Pasay City police, was collared along with his companion identified as Jose Dalayre. They were then selling an M16 rifle and a 9mm pistol to a police poseur-buyer.
Durana said Pingli is a relative of the leaders of the Pingli Brothers, a notorious kidnap-for-ransom group operating in Zamboanga City and nearby areas.
One of the leaders, Wahid Pingli alias Guru, was killed during service of warrants of arrest in June 2012 while Ismael Pingli alias Tago was arrested in 2016. Gafur Pingli remain at large up to the present.
“The Pingli brothers were responsible in the kidnapping of American national Gerfa Yeatts Lunsman and his son, and also involved in the kidnapping of the three public school teachers in Sacol Island, Zamboanga City in 2009,” said Durana.
“Their group are also responsible in the series of extortion activities in Zamboanga Peninsula,” he added.
Appropriate criminal charges are now being readied against Pingli and his companion while separate administrative cases will be slapped against the police officer that could lead to his dismissal from the police service.