PNP Siquijor calls on gunowners anew to avail of gun amnesty until October 31
By Rizalie A. Calibo
Siquijor (21 October) -- Following series of announcements and warnings issued by the Police Regional Office (PRO-7), Siquijor Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Efren H. Ysulat reiterated his call for all gunowners to renew their expired license of firearms and avail of the amnesty or else face the full force of the law after the deadline.
Ysulat said a motorcade was conducted in the province last October 2 to raise awareness and encourage gunowners to avail of the program.
It can be noted that PRO-7 Chief Gen. Lani-O Nerez issued a warning earlier to gun owners that failure to renew expired license of firearms by the end of the month will be slapped with illegal possession of firearms.
Nerez said October 31 is the last day of the gun amnesty program of the government and there will be no more extension.
The amnesty program includes those civilian gun owners who failed to register their weapons to acquire a license without fines or penalties.
The PRO-7 chief urged firearms holders to visit the nearest police station in their area to get an application form to renew their expired license. Firearms control assistance desk in every police station has been set up for this purpose, this is learned.
With slightly over two weeks to go before the deadline lapses, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is vigorously intensifying its campaign in the crackdown against loose firearms following an order from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to account the number of loose firearms in the country.
Executive Order 817 or the National Firearms Control Program signed by Pres. Arroyo also mandated a three percent reduction every month on the number of loose firearms circulating in the country.
Police estimated there are 1.1M loose firearms nationwide in the hands of delinquent licensed gun holders, criminal elements, threat groups and civilian gun holders.
In Central Visayas, loose firearms are estimated to reach 52T with slightly over 21T having expired licenses.
PRO-7 Firearms and Explosives Unit (FEU) Head P/Supt. Jacinto Cesar said that as of October 8, only 1,422 firearms with expired licenses have applied for renewal or only about 6.8 percent of the total over 21T expired firearms in the region.
About 4,800 weapons with expired licenses are attributed to the security agencies sector, according to Cesar.
Cesar said the remaining 28T firearms of the estimated 52T firearms circulating in Central Visayas are under the hand s of threat groups, and criminal elements among others. As of September 30, about 450 weapons have been confiscated through police apprehension, Cesar claimed.
In Siquijor, Ysulat reported that there were 118 listed unrenewed firearms and only 35 have renewed as of October 14, three are out of coverage, four owners were dead while four have surrendered for having no license, he said.
The FEU-7 head expressed optimism that with the nearing deadline, gun owners with expired licenses will rush to their office to have their license renewed.
Gun owners who fail to heed the government's warning and apply for the amnesty program will be charged with illegal possession of firearms, according to the PRO-7 chief.
"We have the list of gun owners and we will know who have not availed of the gun amnesty so better watch out because we will be after you after October 31," Nerez firmly warned. (PIA) [top]