Guns, grenades drugs seized from RPA-ABB member’s house

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Firearms, explosives, and suspected illegal drugs were seized during a firearm raid morning of Jan 26, 2023 in Janiuay, Iloilo.

Police identified the suspect as Loreto Cava Jr., 67, a resident of Barangay Bongol, Janiuay, Iloilo and an active member of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB).

The RPA-ABB is a splinter group of the New People’s Army, which is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Members of the Janiuay Municipal Police Station, the Iloilo Police Provincial Office-Provincial Intelligence Unit (PIU-IPPO, the 603rd Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RFMB) 6, the 1st Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company, and the IPPO Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team stormed Cava’s house following reports that he was keeping a cache of firearms.

The operatives were armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Gemalyn Faunillo-Tarol of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 76 in Janiuay, Iloilo on Jan. 24, 2023.

Recovered from Cava’s house were two sachets of suspected shabu, six 12-gauge homemade shotguns, four caliber .38 revolvers, a caliber .45 pistol, two fragmentation grenades, assorted ammunition, and P2,770 cash.

Cava’s 22-year-old nephew, John Patrick Jaen, was also arrested after suspected illegal drugs paraphernalia were seized from his possession.

Captain Alwin Salmon, Janiuay police chief, said Cava is also suspected of selling illegal drugs.

But more than illegally possessing firearms, Cava, who was convicted for a homicide case, was accused of extortion.

He and some other persons may have been using the RPA-ABB in mulcting some businessmen, particularly contractors.

But Brigadier General Leo Francisco, Western Visayas police chief, said evidence has yet to be gathered on the said claims considering that there was no formal complaint against Cava for extortion.

Cava is now detained and will be charged for violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) and RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act).

Jaen will also be charged for violation of RA 9165.