PNP re-launches ‘hot gun’ campaign

Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan (left), Western Visayas police chief, and Police Lieutenant General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, PNP deputy chief for operations, lead the relaunching of Tokhang Kontra Armas Luthang (TKAL) on Thursday.

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

In Hiligaynon, tikal means to boast or extol oneself in superlatives.

But as far as Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 is concerned, TKAL means an effort to curb crimes with the use of firearms.

On Thursday, PRO-6 relaunched TKAL, its initiative to combat the proliferation of loose firearms.

TKAL or Tokhang Kontra Armas Luthang, which used to be Tokhang Kontra Guinadili-an nga Pusil (TKGP), aims to account loose firearms and firearms with expired licenses.

It also seeks to neutralize private armed groups, motorcycle-riding suspects, riding-in-tandem suspects, gun-for-hire groups, and other groups.

Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, Western Visayas police chief, said they also want to reduce the public’s fear of crimes.

Pamuspusan said TKAL is PRO-6’s proactive measure that will counter crimes perpetrated or committed with the use of firearms.

“We need to control the use of firearms and there’s such a program to reach out to our policemen if they want help in licensing their firearms,” he said.

Pamuspusan said the re-launching also aims to encourage police officer to step up anti-illegal gun efforts.

From July to October 2019, Western Visayas recorded 425 incidents with the use of firearms.

Further, “this proactive stance will sustain peace and order in the region, particularly this coming Yuletide Season and festivals by containing or reducing the threat of loose firearms and other lethal weapons,” he said.

TKGP was launched on July 24, 2018 and was bruited as an initiative unique to PRO-6.

From July 1 to Nov. 19, 2019, PRO-6 reported that 564 firearms were turned over through the soft-hand approach to the city and municipal police stations.

The number includes 184 homemade guns, while 14 were surrendered, and 366 were deposited at the stations pending renewal of licenses.

Pamuspusan said the 184 guns would eventually be subjected to decommissioning.

On the other hand, 191 firearms were seized through the iron-hand approach via police operational such as checkpoints, Oplan Bakal, and Oplan Sita.

Also, 71 firearms were recovered in the implementation of search warrants.

Police Lieutenant General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, PNP deputy chief for operations, led the relaunching of TKAL on Thursday.

He said the re-invigorated campaign is just one of the PNP’s initiatives to combat deaths by shooting and incidents committed by criminals.

“If needed, we could relaunch it on a monthly basis for the people to know that the police are there to enforce the law,” he said.

But aside from TKAL, Cascolan said the PNP has other efforts to combat the proliferation of loose firearms.

They also have the License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) caravans to reach out to gun holders who fail to renew their firearms.

“We want to reach out to the public through this effort to gain their trust and confidence again,” he said.

Meanwhile, to ensure that objectives of the project will be attained, periodic assessment and evaluation on the performance of units will be undertaken to address operations and administrative gaps.