Too many loose firearms ignite murders in Masbate, says PNP Chief
by EA Delgado
Masbate City (18 February) -- In describing the scale of seeming lawlessness in the pistol-shaped island province of Masbate, Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa turned to Maguindanao, the site of the massacre of 57 people by some 100 gunmen last Nov. 23, for comparison.
Verzosa, who recently convened military, police and election officials involved in the security preparations for the upcoming elections here, sought to explain Masbate's inclusion in what he has come to describe as "hot spots," saying "halos sunod-sunod talaga ang patayan at hindi magandang nangyayari dito."
The PNP chief attributed the propensity of Masbateņos for murder to the proliferation of firearms in Masbate.
"As early as last year we have already concluded that the single instrument na ginagamit dito sa mga karahasan na ganyan ay baril."
To support his conclusion, he cited the case of provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), particularly Maguindanao.
Doon sa Maguindanao and most areas in ARMM,'yan din ang cause ng kaguluhan. Almost all residents (have firearms)," he said.
He hastened to add: "Mukhang ganun din dito."
To check the proliferation of firearms, he said the PNP has begun implementing a program called "National Firearms Control." (PIA Masbate) [top]