Central Luzon cops net 500 loose firearms in 4 months
MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga — The Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) has confiscated about 500 loose firearms in various operations in the last four months.
In a statement on Monday, July 3, PRO3 director Brigadier General Jose Hidalgo Jr. said guns of different calibers were seized from crime suspects in anti-criminality checkpoints, anti-illegal drugs operations and service of warrants.
“For the past four months, about 500 loose firearms were taken away from the hands of criminals regionwide before they could use them against innocent citizens,” he said.
Hidalgo said the criminals’ “instruments of violence” were confiscated between February 22 and July 2.
He said 233 persons had been charged of violating the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Police offices in Central Luzon also collected 1,033 firearms from gun owners with expired licenses under the “Oplan Katok” program.
Hidalgo said policemen had been knocking on the doors of gun owners who failed to renew their firearms licenses and asking them to turn over their guns for safekeeping. Once the gun owner renews his permit to own a firearm, the gun will be returned to him.
Individuals who would continue to hold on to their guns despite the expiration and non-renewal of their licenses could be charged of illegal possession of firearms, he said.
“We are doing this as part of the Philippine National Police’s efforts to intensify the campaign against loose firearms as well as to prepare for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections this October. I also urge gun holders to regularly update and renew their licenses,” the regional police director said. INQ