Central Visayas police knock on gun owners’ doors-A A +A
Friday, October 4, 2013
POLICE knocked on the doors of 21,049 gun holders of expired licenses in Central Visayas since January as part of “Oplan Katok,” which aimed to account loose firearms.
Chief Insp. Clarissa Gabutan, deputy chief of Firearms, Explosives Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory Section (Fessags), said 1,962 of the licenses were only renewed.
“Oplan Katok” is the program of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to account for firearms and ensure the renewal of firearms licenses since Dec. 31 last year.
About 2,910 licensees were not found by police after they have moved their addresses, according to the report presented during the Talakayan sa Isyung Pulis (TSIP) forum yesterday.
Gabutan said they are tracking down the gun holders through the help of records from different government agencies.
If they are not found, she said this could be a basis in filing charges against the licensees.
Some 290 gun holders were also found using fictitious names when police conducted the house-to-house campaign.
“Despite our strict process in getting a license, there are some people who have ill motives,” Gabutan told Sun.Star Cebu.
About 1,843 licensees have moved their addresses, 1,744 are dead and 406 denied ownership of the firearms.
Gabutan said 1,117 licenses were transferred while 618 firearms were sold but their licenses were not transferred.
When police conducted the house visitations, 104 firearms were surrendered to them and 706 were found out lost.
During the forum, a top police official revealed there are 16,159 unregistered loose firearms in the region.
Supt. Pablo Labra II, acting chief of Regional Intelligence Division of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, said they came up with these through the arrest of wanted persons and criminal groups.
Police also came up that every 1 percent of the population of a province that there are households who possessed firearms, he said.
However, Labra said only 702 of these firearms were found used in crimes, urging the public that there is no need to be alarmed especially that the barangay elections is barely a month away.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 04, 2013.