Gun ban nabs 549 in Ilocos
SAN FERNANDO CITY—The Ilocos police have confiscated 119 firearms and arrested 549 gun owners since the 2016 election period began on Jan. 10.
The election law prohibits anyone, licensed or unlicensed, to carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places during the election period, from Jan. 10 to June 8. Violators may be imprisoned from one to six years and disqualified from holding public office.
Among those arrested were subjects of arrest warrants or were arrested carrying weapons at election checkpoints, Chief Supt. Ericson Velasquez, Ilocos regional police director, said.
Velasquez, who chairs the Ilocos regional joint security control centers, said 84 candidates and 265 licensed gun owners in the region had voluntarily deposited their weapons in police provincial offices, as a gesture of political goodwill and to heed the gun ban.
Most of the confiscated weapons came from Pangasinan province (62), followed by the provinces of Ilocos Sur (23), La Union (21) and Ilocos Norte (13).
In Pangasinan, 278 people were arrested for violating the gun ban, the highest so far posted in the region. In Ilocos Sur, 102 people were arrested, in La Union, 96, and in Ilocos Norte, 73.
Pangasinan is one of the six provinces in the election watch list. The other provinces are Masbate, Negros Oriental, Western Samar, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
During a visit to Pangasinan this month, Philippine National Police Director General Ricardo Marquez said he had deployed special operations groups to the six provinces. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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