PNP hits ground running in campaign on loose firearms

August 5, 2009 9:20 am 

MANILA, Aug. 5 – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has accounted for 20,419 loose firearms as of July 31, 2009 ahead of the August 1 start of the administrative processing pursuant to Executive Order No. 817 implementing the National Firearms Control Program.

"This is an encouraging sign of a successful campaign against loose firearms that we are waging to disarm threat groups, criminal elements, partisan armed groups, and unauthorized firearm holders," PNP chief, Director General Jesus A. Verzosa said.

Citing reports from the National Task Force Kontra-Boga Secretariat, Chief Superintendent Constante Azares, Verzosa said even before the campaign can formally start, there had been significant results in police operations against loose firearms and administrative initiatives for accounting and documentation of all firearms as ordered by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo under Executive Order No. 817.

National Task Force Kontra-Boga chairman Deputy Director General Jefferson Soriano reported 231 police-initiated actions against firearms thru Oplan Bakal or gun check operations, mobile checkpoint operations, Internal Security Operations against threat groups, service of Search Warrants and armed encounters with gun law violators. A total of 357 suspects were arrested in these operations while 14 suspects were killed and seven were wounded, he said. A total of 595 loose firearms were confiscated in these police operations.

Verzosa commended the National Capital Region PolIce Office (NCRPO), Police Regional Office 4A (CALABARZON), and Police Regional Office 7 (Central Visayas) that are the top performing PNP units in the firearms control campaign in terms of police initiated operations.

In the administrative aspect of implementation of the National Firearms Control Program, a total of 19,824 firearms with expired licenses were renewed as of July 31, 2009. These firearms are the subject of accounting and documentation.

The PNP has started accepting applications for license renewal waived of penalties and surcharges under a national firearms amnesty granted under the Executive Order NO. 817.

The PNP aims to account for an estimated 1.1-million loose firearms in the hands of threat groups, organized crime groups, criminal elements, delinquent firearms owners and unauthorized firearms holders. (PNA) LAP/pr/utb

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