AUTHORITIES arrested a total of 124 individuals who were found violating the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban.
The ban is in effect from January 13 to March 17. The number of offenders is expected to increase as authorities continue to intensify operations.
Police Regional Office Davao (PRO 11) Regional Director Marcelo C. Morales bared that security personnel recovered a total of 80 small firearms, 35 light weapons, 26 explosives, and 1,243 ammunition.
Of the assorted firearms, 61 were pistols and revolvers while 19 were rifles and shotguns. There were also 32 bladed/pointed weapons, 10 grenades, and 16 explosives/IED.
The violators were nabbed after the implementation of search warrants, checkpoint operations, buy bust, and police response.
The numbers continue to go up as authorities continuously conduct security operations such as the Oplan Dabaw Kalinaw, Intensified PNP-Comelec checkpoint/chokepoint operations, police visibility, and other continuous focused police operations.
It can be recalled that Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde ordered his personnel to strictly implement the gun ban in their areas apart from intensifying their focused law enforcement operations to dismantle partisan armed groups, neutralize gun-for-hire syndicates and account for more loose firearms.
Following the directive, Morales ordered the conduct of checkpoint regionwide as part of the monitoring system in the implementation of the gun ban in which carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons is prohibited until June 12.
One of the successful operations that they conducted was the arrest of municipal councilor Levy Joe Lumando alias Wad, 40, married, in Barangay Del Pilar, Manay, Davao Oriental.
Recovered from Lumando were several sachets of suspected shabu, one rifle grenade, one hand grenade, one Taurus PT 45 PRO cal ACP with serial number NBU13045, short magazines, and several live ammunition.
A member of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-ARMM) was also arrested in South Eastern College of Padada, Davao del Sur for having been unruly while under the influence of liquor in violation of the Omnibus Election Code.
The PDEA agent was identified as Jasmin Salumbre Paragele, 37, married, and a resident of Paradise Country Homes in Tres de Mayo, Digos, Davao del Sur.
Confiscated from her possession and control were one caliber 45 pistol, three Magazines, 22 live ammunition believed to be of caliber 45, one PDEA ID, letter order; and Property acknowledgment receipt.
“We are expecting more violators and criminal elements to be arrested as we keep on increasing our efforts. We will strengthen our guard, staying alert and always ready in order to make the upcoming election peaceful and orderly," Morales said.
Morales, meanwhile, urged the public to comply with poll-related prohibitions for the election period to avoid any committing violations that will cause their arrest.