Police seize more firearms, explosives from sugar mill linked to Pryde Teves

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) found more firearms and explosives in its second raid on the sugar mill linked to former Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Sunday presented to the media assorted firearms and explosives which they said were dug up from the grounds of the HDJ Bayawan Agri-Venture Corp. Tolong compound, a sugar mill in Barangay Caranoch, Santa Catalina town in Negros Oriental.

Police on Friday conducted an initial raid on the sugar mill owned by the company that Teves heads, where 16 firearms and thousands of rounds of live ammunition were found.

“All in all, there are 16 firearms that we have found last March 24. But yesterday, during the continuation of the implementation -- the compound is a vast area -- we found explosives during the excavation of a place which was predetermined by our witnesses,” CIDG chief legal officer PCol. Thomas Valmonte said.

Among the explosives discovered in a deep pit were a rocket-propelled grenade and an improvised explosive device (IED).

“These IEDs, if you possess that, there is an intention of terrorism, meaning act of terrorism,” Valmonte added.

The three suspects were arrested during the operation, including the sugar mill’s head of security, according to Valmonte.

The CIDG official said the seized firearms and explosives will be submitted to the PNP Forensic Group and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Canine Group for further examination.

Valmonte said the operation was based on the search warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City, Cebu. It was also pursuant to the CIDG’s flagship campaign against loose firearms called OPLAN Paglalansag Omega.

The former governor previously said he is willing to cooperate with authorities following the first raid. 

Pryde Teves is the brother of Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., who was earlier tagged as a mastermind behind the brazen assassination of Governor Roel Degamo.

CNN Philippines' Dumaguete-based journalist Roy Bustillo contributed to this story.