300 arrested for gunban violation in Central Visayas
Cebu City (2 June) -- Almost 300 persons were apprehended in Central Visayas for violating the election gun ban since it took effect last January 10, the police bared in a recent police forum.
Police Regional Office (PRO-7) Operations and Plans Division Chief S/Supt. Ernesto Agas in its latest updates said that out of the 296 people apprehended due to the gun ban, around 269 firearms were confiscated.
Agas said the data taken was from January 10 until May 21, this year and added that police will still continue its checkpoint operations even when the elections have long ended, as the gun ban is still in effect until June 9.
"There are 168 cases already filed in court and 76 cases under investigation," Agas disclosed.
Agas explained the number of cases filed does not necessarily have to be the same as the number of persons arrested and firearms confiscated.
"Imagine, if we were not able to apprehend these violators and seize their firearms, this would have created havoc on our (police) security preparations for the elections," stressed Agas.
The Cebu Provincial Police Office had the most number of arrests with 117 individuals netting 121 firearms followed by the Bohol Provincial Police Office with 45 persons and confiscating 44 weapons.
City City Police Office (CCPO) and the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) both apprehended 42 persons each while the latter confiscated 42 firearms while CCPO netted 27 weapons, this is reported.
Twenty-eight violators were apprehended in Lapulapu City while the Lapulapu City Police Office seized 17 firearms.
The Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office on the other hand, arrested 21 violators and confiscated 16 firearms while the Siquijor Provincial Police Office apprehended one person and two firearms.
PRO-7 Deputy Regional Director for Operations S/Supt. Vicente Loot bared that though the gun ban will be lifted on June 9, the ban will still take effect against persons not authorized to carry firearms even beyond June 9.
Loot clarified that with the election gun ban, law enforcement personnel are only allowed to carry their firearms when in active duty and in their proper uniforms and will face arrest if caught carrying their service firearm in civilian clothes.
After June 9, men in uniform may be allowed to carry their service firearm even in civilian clothes and from duty to their residence, this is learned.
But the ban continues against civilians who are not authorized to carry firearms, Loot declared.
Loot added that the Philippine National Police has an existing program called the National Firearms Controlled Program where all regions are made to account all registered and non-registered firearms throughout the country in its anti-criminality campaign. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]