PRO-7: 453 loose firearms seized, 60 persons nabbed for violating gun ban

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 14,2023 - 02:48 PM

PRO-7 headquarters

Camp Sergio Osmeña | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A total of 453 loose firearms were recovered in Central Visayas since the beginning of the election gun ban in August 28 up to the second week of October.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO-7), said that this number was the result of their operations from August 28 to October 10, 2023.

READ: PRO-7: 453 loose firearms seized, 60 persons nabbed for violating gun ban

Comelec checkpoints

He said that these illegal firearms were recovered from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) checkpoints set up all over the region.

According to Pelare, 115 firearms were confiscated by police while 338 firearms were deposited and returned by individuals to police stations.

Data from the PRO-7 showed that among the firearms confiscated, 97 are ammunition; 23 are small firearms; 11 are light weapons; and 2 are bladed weapons.

Small firearms refer to guns such as revolvers, pistols, and assault rifles that are used by one person. Light weapons are guns operated by two persons or a team such as heavy machine guns, and grenade launchers.

Meanwhile, bladed weapons include knives, daggers, and bayonets.

READ: Gun replicas covered by barangay, SK polls gun ban, public warned

Metro Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Siquijor

These confiscations were done by personnel of the police provincial offices in Cebu City, Cebu province, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

Pelare said that during the 11,210 Comelec checkpoints established, they have arrested a total of 60 suspects.

He said that these arrested persons were now in police custody and charges had been filed against them.

They will be facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and violation of the election gun ban.

“Everyone was charged in court for Republic Act 10591 as well as violations of the Comelec gun ban,” he said.

READ: Comelec issues gun ban rules for 2023 Barangay, SK elections

PRO-7: Checkpoints stay

Pelare said that with the election date drawing nearer, the police were continuously conducting checkpoints in order to take the weapons away from criminals who might cause trouble on October 30.

“Nagpabilin ang atong Comelec checkpoints. Unya usa gyud ni sa gi-specify nga instructions sa  atong regional director, Police Brigadier General Anthony Aberin, to make sure nga  loose firearms will not freely be transported within Central Visayas. And dili moabot sa kamot sa mga criminals because this can be used during the election,” he said.

(Our Comelec checkpoints stay. And this is one of the instructions given by our regional director, Police Brigadier General Anthony Aberin, to make sure that loose firearms will not be freely transported within Central Visayas. And would not be reached by the criminals because these can be used during the election.)

READ: Gun props need permit under poll firearms ban – PNP

Strategic checkpoints

According to Pelare, there are various checkpoints placed in different locations in the region tasked to intercept individuals in possession of firearms.

“As you can notice, naa tay mga (we have) Comelec checkpoints all over Central Visayas. There are strategic checkpoints in areas of concern. This is purposely to make sure na (that) we can confiscated and arrest people possessing illegal or loose firearms,” he said.

Pelare said that despite the extensive efforts of police to arrest these persons, it was a challenge when some criminals could get past them and cause shooting incidents in the community.

READ: 3.3M Cebuanos expected to cast their votes in BSKE, says Comelec

PRO-7: Challenge for cops

“That is always a challenge for the police because while we are very aggressive in the conduct of police operations, active police operations, kining mga kriminal nato, they also observe kanus-a mag checkpoint ang police. Asa ang checkpoint, so ila sang pilion nga wala puy police nga naka deployed,” he said.

(That is always a challenge for the police because while we are very aggressive in the conduct of police operations, active police operations, the criminals also observe when the police will conduct checkpoints, where the checkpoints are, so they also choose areas where police are not deployed.)

READ: Comelec to serve show cause orders vs 174 BSKE bets for early campaigning

Crime-prone areas

Pelare said that in order to counter this, the police were continuously analyzing the situation in every area in order to determine which areas were prone to crimes.

Pelare also highlighted the importance of the cooperation of the general public to their campaign to stop criminals.

He pleads to the public in Central Visayas to always report to the police suspicious activities they might see on the streets.

“So we need your information. we need your cooperation. If you see suspicious individuals or suspicious activities, please report it to your Philippine National Police,” said Pelare.

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TAGS: gun ban, loose firearms, PRO 7

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