There are 10,908 firearms with expired licenses in Negros Occidental, the owners of which are soon to be subjects of police operations, ifthey will not surrender them to police stations for safekeeping, a top police official warned yesterday.
Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, yesterday said guns with expired licenses are considered loose firearms.
Only 63 guns with expired licenses have been surrendered to the police in Negros Occidental for safekeeping, as of yesterday, police records showed.
From January to July this year, the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office reported that it has recovered 120 loose firearms in separate police operations.
Starting Wednesday, Castil said they will start implementing an “iron hand approach” in collecting loose firearms, including those with expired licenses. This is also in line with the coming elections in May next year.
He added that they are also targeting 434 firearms in the possession of armed criminal gangs and private armed groups.
Castil reiterated his appeal for gun enthusiasts with expired licenses to deposit their guns at the nearest police stations for safekeeping, pending the processing of the renewal of their licenses. At the same time, he lauded those licensed gun owners who extended cooperation to their “Oplan Tokhang Kontra Guinadili-an nga Armas”.
Of the 63 firearms surrendered under Oplan Tokhang, two came from policemen, some politicians, including Manapla Vice Mayor Felix Robles, a former mayor, and several private security agencies.
There are 11,184 firearms licensed in Negros Occidental, with 10,908 now with expired licenses, police records showed.
During the weekend, a former mayor in northern Negros surrendered two M-16 assault rifles, two 12 gauge shotguns, a .30 caliber M-1 carbine rifle, and a .38 Colt Super pistol, to the Sagay City Police Station.
In Bacolod City there are 3,000 firearms with expired licenses.
The PNP also launched Oplan Katok, police door-to-door visits to the residences of gun owners with expired licenses, and of suspected holders of firearms, in previous months.
The campaign plan has been considered by the PNP among the most effective tools against organized crime groups, private armed groups, and wanted persons, who usually use loose firearms in their criminal activities.
As to the reported gun amnesty, Castil said they have yet to receive its guidelines.*GPB
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