The Department of Justice scored another victory with the conviction of a high-ranking member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla commended the members of the DOJ Task Force on Anti-Terrorism for the successful prosecution of the cases against Tirso Alcantara alias Ka Bart/Nissan, a known Executive Committee member and “Kadre” or leader of the Southern Tagalog Party Committee of the CPP-NPA.
In a 16-page Joint Judgment, the Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 266 found Alcantara guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of Illegal Possession of Explosives and Illegal Possession of Firearms or Ammunition.
The Court sentenced Alcantara to suffer the indeterminate penalty of eleven years and four months of prision mayor as minimum to 16 years, five months and nine days of reclusion temporal as maximum and a fine of P50,000 for the crime of Illegal Possession of Explosives.
He was also sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of five years, four months and 20 days of prision correccional as minimum, to seven years and four months of prision mayor as maximum, and a fine of P30,000 for the crime of Illegal Possession of Firearm or Ammunitions.
The prosecution narrated that joint operatives of the Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) went to Lucena City to serve the Order of Arrest for Rebellion issued by the Lucena RTC Branch 59 against Alcantara.
However, Alcantara tried to escape by boarding a motorcycle. The special forces tried to flag down the motorcycle but Alcantara jumped and drew his firearm, prompting members of the special forces to shoot resulting in the wounding of the accused.
After conducting a search, the team recovered from Alcantara’s possession the following items: one EA grenade hand fragmentation MK2, nine blasting caps with six meters and six inches of detonating cord, and 12 feet and seven inches of time fuse, which are capable of producing destructive effect on contiguous objects or causing injury or death to any person.
The law enforcers also found in Alcantara’s possession one caliber .45 Colt, two magazines for caliber .45 and 14 rounds of live ammunition for caliber .45.
They asked him if he has documents regarding the firearms and ammunition but Alcantara did not present any documents.
In its decision, the Court said that, “the elements of both crimes of Illegal Possession of Explosives and Illegal Possession of Firearms are as follows: (1) existence of the firearm, ammunition or explosive; (2) ownership or possession of the firearm, ammunition or explosive; and (3) lack of license to own or possess.”
The Court explained that in the crime of illegal possession of firearms, "the corpus delicti is the accused's lack of license or permit to possess or carry the firearm, as possession itself is not prohibited by law. To establish the corpus delicti, the prosecution has the burden of proving that the firearm exists and that the accused who owned or possessed it does not have the corresponding license or permit to possess or carry the same."
It further stated that “after a judicious perusal of the evidence adduced, the Court finds that the prosecution was able to establish all the elements of the crimes xxx.”