3,410 so far apprehended for gun ban violation; 96% are civilians – PNP
MANILA — Three weeks before election day, more than 3,400 people have been arrested for bringing their guns or ammunition in public despite an election gun ban in place for three months now.
The Philippine National Police said it has apprehended 3,410 individuals since the Commission on Elections started implementing the ban on firearms, ammunition and deadly weapons last January 10.
This means that an average of 34 people are arrested daily for bringing their guns and other deadly weapons without a Comelec-issued exemption.
Ninety six percent of those nabbed or 3,282 were civilians accosted at Comelec checkpoints for violating the election gun ban.
The PNP has assured the public that it will continue to step up its enforcement of the prohibition on firearms, ammunition, explosives and other deadly weapons as May 9 nears.
“As election day nears, the PNP will intensify its drive against firearms, deadly weapons and even gun replicas, airsoft and airguns, which are banned to be carried outside one’s residence during the election period,” said the PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor.
Upon arresting an election gun ban violator, the PNP checks its records for any outstanding arrest warrant against the violator and photograph included in the rogues gallery.
In its Sunday update, the PNP said 40 of those arrested or .01 percent were security guards.
Twenty-seven of those apprehended for election gun ban violations were policemen, followed by 23 government employees and 15 personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Also arrested were six members of other law enforcement agencies, three militiamen, and a member of the Bureau of Fire Protection. Criminal groups and private armed groups accounted for 13 of those arrested.
The PNP said most violators were arrested at Comelec checkpoints set up by the PNP since January 10. The checkpoints were established as part of the security preparations for the May 9 national and local elections.
The election gun ban will be in effect until June 8, or a month after election day. SFM