Rep. Edward Hagedorn shows photos of the firearms that were returned to the Puerto Princesa City Police Office in a press conference last Saturday, July 1.

Palawan 3rd District Rep. Edward S. Hagedorn has found an ally in his case before the Sandiganbayan, which earlier ruled him guilty of malversation of public property and sentenced him to two to seven years imprisonment.

Hagedorn, a former mayor of Puerto Princesa City, was charged for allegedly failing to return 14 units of M16 Armalite rifles. He clarified in a press conference last Saturday that all the unaccounted firearms had been turned over to the Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO).

He said the city government had actually asked the PPCPO for the firearms through a letter, sent by Mayor Lucilo Bayron to then City Director P/Col. Sergio Vivar. Vivar however replied stating that the firearms are properties of the PPCPO, thus they cannot turn it over to the city government.

“The firearms are already at the PNP so what are they looking for?” Hagedorn asked.

During a media forum at the PPCPO on Monday, Investigation and Detection Management Unit chief P/Lt. Col. Joseph Dela Cruz confirmed that the firearms are already in their custody.

“Based on our records, all firearms are accounted for,” Dela Cruz said. He, however, said he does not know the cause of the delay of turn over.

“I was not able to follow the case. We just verified from our records and yes, all firearms were turned over to us,” he explained.

Further verification made at their supply records section, PPCPPO spokesperson P/Capt. Victoria Carmen Iquin said the firearms were turned over to them on September 14, 2017.

Dela Cruz said they would issue a certification and copy of the records of the firearms turned over to the PPCPO if Hagedorn asks.

Hagedorn has since maintained innocence on the case, saying he will appeal the decision all the way to the Supreme Court to clear his name.

Sought for further reactions, he said he would rather not comment as he is still set to file a motion for reconsideration on the case.

He however said that while he was saddened by the turn of events at the Sandiganbayan, he is also happy that the PNP has once again confirmed that the firearms were already returned, further expressing gratitude to them.