Checkpoints boost anti-crime and gun control campaign

January 18, 2010 2:23 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 18 — Aside from gun ban violators, Commission on Election (Comelec) checkpoints manned by Philippine national Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) security forces have also netted wanted persons, criminal elements and communist insurgents a week since these Comelec-supervised checkpoints were put up across the country.

A total of 270 persons have been arrested and 223 firearms confiscated as a result of checkpoint operations by the PNP-AFP Joint Security Control Centers (JSCC) since January 10.

"But these checkpoint operations are not entirely against gun ban violators alone. These security measures are also in support of ongoing campaigns against loose firearms, wanted persons, and organized crime groups", according to PNP Spokesperson Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina.

In the opening hours of the nationwide gun ban on January 10, police arrested two wanted persons in a Comelec checkpoint in Taal, Batangas.

Sherwin Sanchez and Edgar Azucena, both wanted for Murder by the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Pascual, Batangas and Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 4 of Batangas City, respectively, yielded cal.45 pistol when accosted at a Comelec checkpoint in Barangay Buli, Taal, Batangas, some two hours after the nationwide gun ban took effect.

On January 11, in Plaridel, Bulacan, robbery suspects Reynan Jacobe and Albert Bartolome were intercepted at a Comelec checkpoint moments after staging a robbery where the suspects shot and killed their victim.

The suspects were riding in tandem on board a motorcycle when intercepted by lawmen at the Comelec/PNP/AFP checkpoint in Plaridel, Bulacan. Police recovered from the suspects two handguns and the P150,000 loot from the robbery.

In Lumban, Laguna, three members of the communist New People's Army were arrested in a Comelec/PNP/AFP checkpoint in Lumban, Laguna on Wednesday afternoon last week.

Ruelito Soriano, Mariano Julongbayan and Nolan Ramos were found in possession of two powerful anti-personnel IEDs, electrical blasting caps, a hand grenade, and P203.000.00 believed to be part of the group's collection in their extortion activities in Laguna.

The suspects were on board a private van when intercepted by lawmen in a Comelec-checkpoint in Lumban.

In Masbate, police arrested Provincial Jail Warden Ricardo Bulanon and Jail Guard Nestor Lazaro for violation of the gun ban.

Bulanon is the subject of a PNP investigation for alleged involvement in the activities of a kidnapping suspect detained at the Masbate Provincial Jail, who was killed in an encounter with police in Parañaque. (PNA)

FFC/PR/mec

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