1,571 gun ban violators yield 1,329 guns

March 23, 2010 10:30 pm 

MANILA, March 23 – Government authorities arrested 40 more violators of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) imposed nationwide total gun ban on Monday, bringing to 1,571 the total number of individuals apprehended since the ban was implemented last January.

Quoting reports from the National Election Monitoring and Action Center (NEMAC), Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said that the latest gun ban violators were composed of 39 civilians and one government personnel. They yielded 26 firearms – six high-powered and 20 low-powered; two gun replicas and seven bladed weapons.

NEMAC records show that as of midnight Monday, government authorities have already arrested a total of 1,571 individuals composed of 1,395 civilians and 176 government personnel, including active members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other uniformed services, since the gun ban was implemented last Jan. 10.

The violators yielded a total of 1,329 firearms, 496 of which are classified high-powered while 833 were low-powered, 807 different kinds of gun replicas, 394 bladed weapons and 236 explosives and grenades during actual conduct of checkpoint operations in various parts of the country.

The Comelec, through Resolution 8714, imposes a nationwide total gun ban as part of the government’s step-up measures to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections in May.

Under Comelec Resolution 8714, only bonafide members of the PNP, the AFP, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other government and accredited private security agencies are allowed to carry firearms during actual performance of their duty and wearing proper uniform within the prescribed election period.

The election period started Jan. 10 and will last up to June 9.

Aside from the nationwide total gun ban, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also ordered government security forces to dismantle private armed groups (PAGs) operating in the country to prevent election-related violence. (PNA) RMA/MM

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