PNP wraps up election gun ban; 5,304 guns seized
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) now has in its custody a total of 5,304 guns that had been confiscated or were surrendered during its implementation of the election gun ban, which ended on Wednesday.
PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said the confiscated firearms were the result of 838,133 checkpoint operations and operations conducted with the military, the implementation of search and arrest warrants, and other police operations during the election period which started on January 13 and ended on June 12.
“What is more significant is the fact that we were able to take away 5,300 instruments of violence from the hands of criminals and terrorist elements, and that could have resulted into more deaths,” he said in a press conference at Camp Crame Thursday.
Banac said the number of guns taken during the election gun ban is enough to arm a division-sized force.
Data from the PNP also showed that a total 6,362 persons were arrested for election related offenses and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
Among those arrested were 5,989 civilians, 48 police personnel, 25 military personnel, 94 public officials, 104 security guards, 19 members of other law enforcement agencies, 24 paramilitary personnel, 31 members of domestic threat groups, 15 foreign nationals, nine members of private armed groups, and four members of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
A total of 50,386 other deadly weapons including bladed weapons, bullets, and explosives were also confiscated during the period.
According to Banac, the firearms in police custody will be used as evidence in the prosecution of cases against those arrested.
With the end of the gun ban, owners of licensed firearms and with permits to carry guns outside their residence may carry their guns in public.
Banac said that with the end of the election period, checkpoints manned by the PNP during the election period, will return to being regular checkpoints.
Meanwhile, Banac announced that violent incidents related to the recently concluded elections remained at 60, or a 55-percent decrease compared to 133 incidents recorded during the same period in 2016.
READ: PNP: 60 violent incidents recorded from Jan. 13 to June 6
“This shows that the recently concluded midterm elections is one of the most peaceful elections we ever had,” said Banac. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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