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PRO8 intensifies “Oplan Katok” to ensure peaceful polls

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
March 13, 2013

CAMP SEC. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – At least 510 long and short firearms with expired licenses were turned-in for safekeeping at different police stations in the region as the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) continued its campaign against unrenewed and loose firearms.

Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, PRO8 Regional Director said they expect to account for more as the police intensifies its campaign against loose firearms and guns with expired licenses as part of the effort to have secure and fair elections this year.

“We thank those gun owners who responded to our call to renew their gun licenses or voluntarily turned-in their firearms. Those who did not heed our call may face further discomfort as they will be then subjected to Search Warrant, to be followed by filing of criminal case for violation of the RA 1866 as amended by RA 8294 or Illegal Possession of Firearm, Explosive and Ammunition,” Soria added.

Soria directed all unit commanders to strengthen their efforts with firearms being one of the most common weapons used in violence.

PRO8 is trying to account for 10,407 firearms with expired licenses in Eastern Visayas as written notices were sent and a total of 13,901 house visitations were conducted to the owner’s addresses and reminded those who have unrenewed firearms licenses of their obligations and for those who have unlicensed firearms to surrender such.

The police official added that most of the firearms with expired licenses were from Leyte, followed by Samar and Northern Samar.

Of the figure, 908 licenses were already renewed while 579 are on-process of renewal.

A total of 5,372 gun owners with expired licenses were advised to renew their respective licenses while others were either not contacted, deceased, denied ownership, transferred residence or the firearms were either sold, lost or carted by communists-terrorists.

Forty firearms, meanwhile, are in different courts as exhibits.

Soria, however, clarified that even if the PNP is issuing licenses to firearms, the release of permits to carry firearms outside of residence is still suspended as the police is strictly implementing Commission on Election (Comelec) gun ban.

The top police official further informed that as the midterm elections draw nearer, a more protracted and intense campaign against loose and unrenewed licenses of guns will be implemented by his office.