Capiz crackdown on illegal firearms ordered

Roxas City, Capiz (10 October) — Western Visayas has about 6,300 unregistered firearms, says the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to the report of the PNP in its online news, an estimated 35,000 unregistered firearms have been recorded in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) while Metro Manila has about 20,700 unregistered guns.

The report added that there are also an estimated 9,100 loose firearms in Western Mindanao, some 7,100 in Eastern Visayas, about 6,500 in Northern Mindanao and more in the rest of the country.

Police Director General Jesus Verzosa has already ordered a nationwide crackdown on illegal guns.

Through the mobilization of the PNP’s regional offices and operational support units, the police is projecting a nationwide sweep of an estimated 115,600 unregistered firearms.

The PNP records indicate that almost all guns used in crime are unlicensed, Versoza said, adding that similar crime data revealed a ratio of only one licensed gun for every 1,000 guns involved in crime.

Roxas City PNP Operations Officer Jonathan Ferrer, on the other hand, disclosed that from January to September this year, the Roxas City police was able to already recovered 16 illegal firearms through their crime prevention operations.

Ferrer said that of the total recoveries, 8 are low-powered home-made, 4 low powered patented and 2 high powered patented firearms. He added that they have also recovered 36 rounds of live ammunition.

To intensify their campaign against loose firearms, the PNP here is also conducting Operation Bakal, particularly during night time.

Meanwhile, Verzosa has reminded unlicensed firearms holders to avail of the government’s amnesty program until November 14, 2008, otherwise the full might of the law will be applied upon persons who are still in possession of illegal guns.

Verzosa said that since November last year when the current amnesty period took effect, only 11,700 individuals and juridical entities have so far turned-in their unregistered guns for licensing.

The PNP, he said, expects to receive more applications in the remaining weeks of the amnesty period.

He added that “this is probably the last time that the PNP is recommending the granting of amnesty as a stop-gap measure to control the proliferation of loose firearms.”

Verzosa said that the government has actually granted amnesty for unregistered guns six or seven times already since 1986. (PIA – Jemin B. Guillermo)


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