PNP to probe Viga farmer who found, kept slain cop’s firearm
posted 10-Sep-2019  ·  
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The Viga police station is now conducting an in-depth investigation to determine the culpability of a farmer who found and then kept the firearm of a policeman who was slain in a New People’s Army ambush two years ago.

Catanduanes police provincial director Col. Paul Abay issued the directive to the Viga MPS after one Arison Amaro Tapel, 28, of barangay Roxas, turned over last Aug. 16, 2019 a 9mm Beretta with serial number P87348Z that was issued to the late PO3 Joseph Tupue based on the records of the Viga police, a 9mm magazine and 13 pieces of 9mm ammunition.

Personnel led by Senior Master Sgt. Ronnie Agawin had gone to Roxas to validate a report from a concerned citizen that Tapel was in possession of a firearm. When confronted, Tapel turned over the firearm to the police without hesitation.

He claimed that a week after the Aug. 10, 2017 ambush, he and Leonardo Nepomuceno were walking home when they found the firearm in the ambush area. In fear and without any idea what to do with it, Tapel said he decided to keep the gun.

PD Abay noted that if not for the information from the concerned citizen, Tapel would not have turned over the gun despite the fact that it was recovered a week after the armed confrontation with the communist rebels that led to the death of Tupue and PO1 Eva Torcelino.

He instructed the police to file appropriate legal charges against the farmer if there is enough evidence.

            A Calatagan High School student went missing after he left his house without informing his family last Aug. 19.

            Nico Tabinas, 16, was last seen leaving his house at Brgy. Bigaa in Virac at around 10:00 AM.

            According to the police report, “[h]is family members exerted efforts to contact and locate him but in vain.”

            The police are calling on the public to immediately contact the Virac MPS Hotline 09183242541 should they have any information on Tabinas.

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