CAMP BADO DANGWA, La Trinidad Benguet – Some 145 persons were arrested while more than 295 assorted firearms were confiscated by combined police operatives during the implementation of the six-month gun ban for the May 9, 2016 elections.
Based on the report of the Regional Election Monitoring Action Center (REMAC) of PRO-Cordillera for the January 10-June 8, 2016 period, a total of 297 assorted firearms, 1693 ammunitions, 14 bladed weapons, 12 grenades , and 78 other explosives were confiscated, surrendered, safekept and recovered in the region during the whole period of the implementation of the COMELEC gun ban. The Abra Police Provincial Office (PPO) scored the highest number of firearms confiscated, surrendered, safekept and recovered with 185 assorted firearms, followed by Apayao PPO with 44, Kalinga PPO with 23, Baguio City Police Office with 17, Benguet PPO with 12, Ifugao PPO with 10, Mt. Province with 3 and the Regional Public Safety Battalion with 3.
Chief Superintendent Ullysses Abellera, regional director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera, said police operatives will continue to intensify their campaign against loose firearms in the whole region and will file appropriate charges against those irresponsible gun handlers/owners even with the lapse of the gun ban because there are existing laws that cover such illegal activities.
The police official expressed his gratitude to the people in the region for their utmost cooperation that led to the successful arrest of individuals who were found to be illegally possessing unlicensed firearms and ammunitions while the gun ban was in effect.
“We appeal to the people to continue supporting our campaign against the proliferation of unlicensed guns by providing police operatives with the necessary information that will lead to the arrest of illegal gun holders. We will also continue to establish mobile and stationary checkpoints in strategic areas in the region to help in the arrest of illegal gun holders who use their firearms for illegal activities,” Abellera stressed.
He commended the police operating units regionwide for their unrelenting and uncompromising operations that resulted to the arrest of the illegal firearm holders and the successful seizure of assorted firearms and ammunitions, saying that the commitment and dedication of the police to the government’s campaign to curb the proliferation of illegal guns and ammunitions is worth emulating by other police operatives in the different parts of the country.
Abellera said the expiration of the 180-day gun ban period will not mean that the police operatives will be lenient in the implementation of appropriate laws, rules and regulations relative to the proliferation of unlicensed guns and ammunitions and even deadly weapons, saying that they continue to work double time in order to significantly reduce the number of illegal firearms that have been scattered in the different parts of the region by unscrupulous gun holders.