PRO-6 intensifies crackdown on unlicensed firearms

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 arrested 31 individuals over 15 days as part of its intensified campaign against unlicensed firearms.

The arrests, made from May 1 to 15, 2024, led to the confiscation of 35 assorted firearms and two explosives under its “iron hand approach.”

This strict law enforcement strategy, or Focused-Targeted Police Operation, involves the application and execution of search warrants.

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOcPPO) recorded 14 arrests, Iloilo PPO logged eight, and Capiz PPO made five arrests. The Aklan PPO, Iloilo City Police Office (CPO), Bacolod City Police Office, and Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 each made one arrest.

Simultaneously, the “soft hand approach” resulted in the surrender and deposit of 182 assorted firearms and 23 explosives across the region. This method, known as Tokhang Panagbalay, appeals to the community to voluntarily surrender or deposit firearms with expired licenses pending renewal or those without proper documentation.

Brigadier General Jack Wanky, Western Visayas police chief, praised PRO-6 personnel for their efforts in removing loose firearms from the streets.

He encouraged citizens to surrender unlicensed firearms to the nearest police station to avoid legal consequences.

“Sa ating mga kababayan, kung kayo po ay mayroong hindi lisensyadong baril, pwede nyo po itong i-deposit o i-surrender sa pinakamalapit na istasyon ng pulisya sa inyong lugar. Huwag nyo nang hintayin na isailalim kayo sa police operation, dahil pag nangyari ‘yan, meron pong kasamang kaso ‘yan,” he said.

PRO-6 is in full throttle in its campaign against loose firearms, with the Regional Civil Security Unit 6 (RCSU-6) reporting 30,715 firearms in the region pending renewal. Iloilo PPO recorded the highest number of unrenewed firearms at 6,417, followed by Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) with 5,153, and Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) with 5,057. Other provinces include Capiz PPO with 3,681, Aklan PPO with 1,854, Antique PPO with 1,813, and Guimaras PPO with 543. Negros Occidental PPO recorded only 61 unrenewed firearms.

Many firearm holders failed to renew their licenses due to stringent standards and requisites mandated under Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act).

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