By Jennifer P. Rendon
Authorities recovered close to 1,000 unlicensed firearms in Western Visayas in the first four months of the year.
Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) records indicate that 993 loose firearms were confiscated, recovered, and surrendered for the period.
The number includes 809 guns that were surrendered, while 172 were confiscated, and 12 were recovered/abandoned.
Lieutenant Colonel Arnel Solis, PRO-6 spokesperson, said that these surrendered firearms are mostly, if not all, homemade or “paltik.”
Solis said the PNP’s campaign against loose firearms may have compelled owners of homemade guns to yield the items to authorities.
PRO-6 units also arrested 195 persons for violating Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) topped the most number of arrests with 67; Iloilo PPO with 38; Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – Regional Field Unit 6 with 27; Antique PPO with 15; Capiz PPO with 13; Bacolod City PO with 11; Aklan PPO with 10; and Iloilo City PO and Guimaras PPO with 7 each.
Meanwhile, 316 assorted firearms with expired licenses were turned over to different police units across the region pending renewal of the license.
Brigadier General Flynn Dongbo, Western Visayas police chief, urged PRO-6 personnel to carry on their focused effort in the implementation of the firearm law.
He instructed them to continue and intensify the PRO-6 endeavors against loose firearms such as the conduct of checkpoint operations, Oplan Katok, and application of search warrants, among others.