Only six gun ban violators nabbed on Thursday

May 14, 2010 8:04 pm 

MANILA, May 14 –- Only six violators of the continuing implementation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-imposed total gun ban were arrested during checkpoint operations throughout the country on Thursday, a ranking police official reported.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said the latest violators were composed of two government personnel and four civilians.

According to Espina, the six violators yielded two high-powered and four low-powered firearms during actual inspection by joint elements of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) along various checkpoints nationwide.

As of midnight Thursday, data from the National Election Monitoring and Action Center (NEMAC) showed that a total of 2,753 individuals, composed of 2,497 civilians and 256 government personnel, including active members of the PNP and AFP, have been arrested since January 10 when the election period started.

A total of 2,403 firearms, 908 of which were classified as high-powered while 1,495 were low-powered; 823 gun replicas, 635 bladed weapons and 273 grenades and explosives were confiscated.

The Comelec, under Resolution 8714, ordered the PNP and the AFP to implement the total gun ban without exemption as part of the government’s stepped-up measures to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections last Monday.

Under the resolution, only bona fide members of the PNP, AFP and other government and accredited private security agencies are allowed to carry firearms during the actual performance of their duty and while wearing proper uniform.

There have been clamors for the continued imposition of the gun ban nationwide beyond the election period which ends on June 9.

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa said the matter is being considered by the PNP high command.

He also said that the extension of the gun ban will be discussed during the next firearms summit involving major stakeholders in the firearms industry and gun owners as well. (PNA) scs/MM

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