Friday, September 21, 2018

4 men fall on 1st day of Comelec gun ban

FOUR people were arrested in Cebu during the first day of the nationwide gun ban.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) implemented a gun ban starting yesterday as part of its preparations for the Oct. 23, 2017 barangay elections.

While no persons were caught violating the gun ban in Cebu City yesterday, three armed men were arrested during a checkpoint in Alcoy town and another one in San Fernando town.

In Alcoy, the local police led by Insp. Sherwin Abellare arrested John Kevin Gocela Fuentes, 22; Michaela Guevarra Molle, 20; and Niño Mier Gocela Hipulan during a checkpoint on the national highway in Barangay Pugalo at 12:15 a.m.

They were allegedly found in possession of a .38 home-made revolver loaded with five bullets and a .22 black widow home-made revolver with three bullets loaded in it.

At 12:10 a.m., a team of police operatives from the San Fernando Police Station arrested 41-year-old Bernardo Tangub in Barangay Greenhills for allegedly brandishing an unlicensed firearm while attending the barangay fiesta.

He was caught in possession of an unlicensed .357 revolver with six bullets loaded on its chamber.

PO3 Edsel Ricablanca, a desk officer, said that a team was sent to the area after receiving a call for assistance about Tangub’s antics.

All the four arrested suspects will be charged for violating Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, and the Comelec gun ban.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Joel Doria, meanwhile, said that random checkpoints have been set up in different roads in the city.

“That’s our directive to our chiefs of police to conduct checkpoints and so far, we haven’t arrested any erring gunholders yet,” said Doria.

Doria is asking for understanding from the commuters and private car owners for the checkpoints.

He said that the teams who are tasked to do the checkpoints have been reminded to conduct the operation in well-lighted areas and use a marked vehicle.

They should also apply the plain view search and observe courtesy, said Doria.

“They must be courteous and must ask consent from the drivers. It would also benefit us and the drivers as well if they would be so kind as to turn on the lights inside their car so that the checkpoint will be conducted smoothly,” said Doria.

Gun owners are prohibited from bringing their firearms even if they have the permit to carry outside their houses as this privilege has been for suspended. One may apply an exemption, though, from the Comelec, said Doria. (KAL/JKV/JOB)