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PIA Press Release

Verzosa to push for stiffer penalties on loose firearms

By Ninfa B Quirante

Catbalogan City (February 11) -- The Philippine National Police Chief (PNP) Director General Jesus Verzosa lamented that penalties for unauthorized possession of firearms are light that he would want stiffer penalties for the same offense.

Speaking mostly in Filipino during the press conference after the Unity Run today at Catbalogan City (Samar) the officer said that it is his frustration that the crime is bailable.

He cited an experience wherein he and his men cornered a gang notorious for hold up, but the group was able to bail the following day and made the rounds of crime again.

"I would opt for a reclusion perpetua," Verzosa told the Samar media.

The PNP official also bared that he has been to Masbate, Basilan and Davao and then Samar and next itinerary included Marawi and Abra.

Verzosa admitted that these places are'medyo magulo'.

He also urged the media to give information as to the presence of armed men, like the Comelec, Verzosa stressed that crime solution can not be done alone, so he sought the help of the media to give them the needed information.

The highest PNP official also asked the media who questioned about the presence of armed groups in Samar, "Ituro niyo nga, nasaan ba sila?"

The group was hushed.

PNP Regional Director Rey Laņada informed that they were able to apprehend some people with loose firearms because of an information from a private individual as in the case of one from Lavesarez, Northern Samar.

Presently, Laņada reported that since the implementation of the gun ban on January 10, they have confiscated some 40 firearms and bladed weapons.

Verzosa also attended the Joint Regional Security Control Center meeting with some leading PNP, army and COMELEC officials after the press conference. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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