Top cop vows to run after loose gun owners

Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao (second from left), Western Visayas police chief, leads the demilitarization of 2,297 homemade or “paltik” firearms at Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) headquarters at Camp Martin Delgado, Iloilo City. With him are Colonel Alberto Desoyo, commander of the Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade; Maria Calpiza Sardua, DILG-6 assistant regional director; Atty. Roberto Salazar, Commission on Elections (Comelec) – Iloilo provincial election supervisor; and Jonathan Sayno, Comelec election assistant II. (Jennifer P. Rendon)

AS THE midterm election nears, the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) vowed to run after owners of loose or unlicensed firearms.

Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief, made the declaration on Feb 4, 2019 during the demilitarization of loose firearms.

Subjected to demilitarization were a total of 2,297 homemade or “paltik” firearms, which are either used in crimes or violence or as evidence in judicial proceedings.

A demilitarized firearm refers to a firearm deliberately made incapable of performing its main purpose of firing a projectile.

But aside from the homemade firearms, some 7,375 firearms have also been surrendered or deposited at the police stations after their owners failed to renew their registrations

On the other hand, 497 loose firearms were confiscated and captured through intensified focused police operations.

“And I warn those who keep defying our call to surrender their firearms with expired licenses: We will run after you. We have the list of those who have possessed guns with unrenewed licenses, and we will double our police operations to recover them,” Bulalacao said.

A total of 7,375 firearms were surrendered since July 24, 2018, a day after PRO6 launched a war against loose firearm dubbed as “Tokhang Kontra Guinadili-an nga Pusil.”

Its implementation was contained in PRO-6 Memorandum Circular No. 2018-13, which was enforced in tandem with the war against illegal drugs.

Bulalacao’s pet project, the project prescribes “a revitalized, coordinated, focused, targeted, and sustained police operation against firearms, both the loose firearms and firearms with expired licenses.”

It is a proactive measures aimed at stopping or curbing gun violence.

PRO-6 also wants to curb crimes using unlicensed firearms, particularly in the May 2019 polls.

The memo is anchored in the PRO-6 campaign targeting private armed groups and other threat groups who are potential threats during the election, as they may be utilized as goons, hoodlums, and private armed men of politicians.



For Bulalacao, the demilitarization is an important event in PRO-6 efforts to maintain peace and order in Western Visayas.

“Ang dami ng armas na ating nalikum ay nagpapakita, hindi lamang ng husay at galing ng ating kapulisan kundi sa mainit na pagtanggap ng ating mamamayan sa ating hamon. We challenged them to join in our crusade for a safer, orderly, secured and crime-free Western Visayas. And they have responded to it,” he said.

For this year, Bulalacao said they want a good number of gun holders to renew or surrender their firearms.

“We gear to support the conduct of midterm elections which promotes and respects the rights of the people to choose the candidates for various positions,” Bulalacao said.

He said this could be shown primarily by a crime-free election where the people could freely and voluntarily express their opinions and choose the candidates.

Bulalacao said it is their commitment to the people of Western Visayas.

“And we are optimistic to achieve our goal and fulfill our promise of making Western Visayas more peaceful, orderly and secure,” he said.