Reclusion perpetua for Payo farmer for illegal possession of explosive

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) has sentenced to reclusion perpetua a farmer in Panganiban town after finding him guilty of illegal possession of firearms and explosive.

The verdict issued by RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada against Jonathan Cid Soledad, 24, came six months after the police found a hand grenade and a loaded gun inside his house on Nov. 14, 2019.

On that day, at 3:15 A.M., joint elements of the Panganiban police station, the Catanduanes Provincial Intelligence Branch-Special Operations Group (CATPIB-SOG), and the 1st and 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company led by Lt. Erwin Rommel C. Calderon visited Soledad’s home at barangay Cabuyoan to implement the search warrant.

The team seized from the farmer one Cal. 38 Smith & Wesson Magnum loaded with four bullets at a drawer of a durabox and a hand grenade wrapped in brown paper at the kitchen. Both items had defaced serial numbers, the police found.

They subsequently filed against him twin criminal cases for violation of Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Act) and RA 9516 (Illegal/Unlawful Possession, Manufacture, Dealing in, Acquisition, of Firearms, Ammunition or Explosives or Instruments Used in the Manufacture of Firearms, Ammunition or Explosives).

The PNP Firearms and Explosive Division had issued a certification that Soledad has no authority to possess the hand grenade.

In denying the crime charged, Soledad claimed the grenade was planted evidence, asserting that he would not put his family in danger by keeping the explosive inside their house.

The Court’s sentence did not have any accessory penalties. If he serves his sentence, Soledad will be eligible for parole after 30 years.

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