Poll gun ban yields 612 firearms in Bicol
LEGAZPI CITY – The election gun ban campaign has yielded at least 612 firearms in Bicol since it started last January.
Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, Bicol police director, said during a joint meeting of the police and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday, that 135 firearms were considered loose firearms or undocumented, while 477 were surrendered by gun owners for safekeeping.
Other confiscated items were three hand grenades, 1,096 assorted ammunition, and 22 deadly weapons.
He said in two months, police have arrested 99 persons for illegal possession of firearms.
They were arrested in Philippine National Police-Comelec checkpoints set up in various areas across Bicol.
Meanwhile, the Regional Election Monitoring Action Center was closely checking at least 22 areas in the provinces of Masbate, Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon, which were considered election hot spots.
During previous elections, these areas have recorded intense political rivalries, the presence of private armed groups, including sightings of New People’s Army rebels, and loose firearms.
The police were validating if these areas would need more police and military troops to quell possible election-related violence./lzb
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