Drug suspect’s brother arrested for illegal gun

BY RUBY P. SILUBRICO

Friday, April 21, 2017

ILOILO City – Unlicensed guns were recovered from the house of a brother of a suspected drug group leader in northern Iloilo. 

The 78-year-old Francisco Balume was arrested around 7 a.m. yesterday in Sara, Iloilo. Policemen seized from his house a .38 revolver, two shotguns and assorted ammunitions.

Aside from illegal drugs, Balume’s younger brother Federico was also linked to gun-for-hire and robbery activities.

Last year, Federico was tagged in a pre-election ambush in Barangay Panian, Balasan, Iloilo that killed two supporters of Estancia town mayoralty candidate Melinda Requinto. He remained at large as of this writing. 

The search warrant against Francisco, meanwhile, was issued by Judge Rogelio Amador of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 66. 

According to Chief Inspector Ronnie Brillo, Sara police chief, Francisco was a suspect in the shooting months ago of Orlean Baldivas who was found dead near Balume’s house.

“We received information that some gun-for-hire suspects used to hide in Francisco’s house,” said Brillo.

Francisco was taken to the Sara police station. He faces a charge for illegal gun possession.

Operatives of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), meanwhile, were continuing the hunt for Federico.

Last month, the PRO-6 named Federico one of its three top targets in the antidrug campaign. The two others were suspected drug lord Richard “Buang” Prevendido of Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao district; and Rolando “Apa/Striker” Torpio of Barangay South San Jose, Molo, Iloilo City, a suspected subgroup leader of the Odicta drug group. Both were at large, too.

The three were considered “high-value” targets.

“We appeal to these three to surrender. Do not dare fight the police. We assure their safety should they surrender,” said PRO-6 deputy director for operations Senior Superintendent Christopher Tambungan./PN