Gov't authorities net almost 3,000 gun ban violators since January

May 27, 2010 8:36 pm 

MANILA, May 27 – Almost 3,000 individuals, most of them civilians, have been arrested in the continuing implementation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-imposed nationwide total gun ban since its implementation last January 10, a ranking police official said Thursday.

Philippine National Police spokesman Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said that data from the National Election Monitoring and Action Center (NEMAC) showed that a total of 2,881 individuals have been apprehended since the Comelec ordered the PNP and the military to impose the gun ban.

Of the number of arrested persons, Espina said that a total of 2,614 are civilians while 267 are government personnel, including active members of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Only on Wednesday, 14 civilians were arrested along various checkpoints nationwide.

Espina said the 14 latest gun ban violators yielded three high-powered and 13 low-powered firearms, two gun replicas and nine explosives and grenades during actual inspection by combined police and military elements.

According to Espina, as of midnight Wednesday, a total of 2,504 firearms, composed of 943 high-powered and 1,561 low-powered; 826 gun replicas, 655 bladed weapons and 283 grenades and explosives were confiscated along checkpoints.

The Comelec, through Resolution 8714, has ordered the PNP and the AFP to implement the nationwide total gun ban as part of the government’s stepped up measures to ensure the recently-concluded May 10 national elections peaceful and orderly.

Under the resolution, only bonafide members of the PNP, 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 Comelec-prescribed election period which started January 10 and will end on June 9.

However, both the PNP and AFP leaderships have declared the May 10 polls as the most peaceful elections in recent memory, attributing such to the Comelec’s imposition of the total gun ban nationwide. And clamors for the extension of the prohibition are now cropping up.

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa has vowed to consider the proposal during the next firearms summit with major stakeholders in the firearms industry. (PNA) LAP/MM


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