LEGAZPI CITY (30-Jan-2013) – Philippine National Police (PNP) regional operatives arrested ten people in various police checkpoints in Bicol in connection with the Commission on Election (Comelec) gun ban drive which started on Jan. 13, official said on Tuesday.
Sr. Supt. Lito Pitallano, officer-in-charge of the PNP Regional Operations and Plans Division (ROPD), cited in his report that two 9mm pistols, seven .38-caliber revolvers and a .22-caliber revolver were confiscated from the arrested individuals. All the seized firearms were loaded.
He said only one of the seized firearms was licensed; all the rest were considered loose or undocumented.
Pitallano said four of the arrested gun ban offenders were from Camarines Sur, three from Masbate and one each from Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes.
Bicol police director Chief Supt. Clarence Guinto said in his report that they had already set up 188 checkpoints manned by over a thousand police officers in various towns and cities in the six provinces of Bicol.
Guinto said the campaign against loose firearms had gone on high gear since the start of the election period where the Comelec ordered the ban on carrying of any type of firearms by civilians as well as policemen and soldiers in civilian clothes.
He said the PNP is closely watching at least 26 towns and a city in Bicol tagged by the Comelec as election hot spots because of intense political rivalries and the presence of private armed groups and New People’s Army rebels.
Police statistics indicate that 14 towns in Masbate are considered election hot spots; followed by Camarines Sur, with five towns and Iriga City; Sorsogon, with four towns; Camarines Norte, with two towns, and Albay, with only one. The island province of Catanduanes has none. (PNA)