Seized guns in poll period ‘enough for six battalions’
THE MORE than 3,000 firearms confiscated by the Philippine National Police in line with the election gun ban will undergo tests to check if they had been used in crimes, the PNP said on Saturday as it revealed the magnitude of the campaign that will remain in force till next month.
“The guns and ammunition we confiscated have enough firepower to arm five or six battalions of combat troops,” said the PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor.
“I can’t imagine how much damage 37,000 bullets and 500 explosives can do to our lives,” Mayor added. “By taking away these instruments of violence from criminal elements and lawless individuals, we were able to preempt imminent danger that may have marred the otherwise peaceful outcome of last Monday’s elections and save lives in the process.”
The firearms will be subject to mandatory ballistics examination “to establish the possible involvement of these firearms in previous shooting incidents,” the official added.
Based on the procedure followed by the PNP since 2013, all firearms, cartridges and slugs seized during police operations, especially those recovered from crime scenes, shall be submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory, which will then process them for cross-matching through the Integrated Ballistics Identification System.
The system contains a database for bullets and cartridges recovered from crime scenes nationwide since 2011. As of January, the system’s database has records for 27,709 bullets and 163,430 cartridges.
As of Saturday morning, the PNP said, it has confiscated 3,495 firearms and arrested 4,237 people—4,045 of them civilians—in its enforcement of the election gun ban which took effect Jan. 10 and will end June 8.
Of the confiscated firearms, 1,142 are pistols, 1, 028 are revolvers, 154 are rifles, 153 are shotguns, while the rest have yet to be classified or are improvised firearms.
The PNP has also confiscated 37,441 rounds of ammunition, 283 grenades and 313 other explosive devices.