More than 500 unlicensed firearms were seized and surrendered during the election gun ban since January.
The haul was presented yesterday to the media in the Police Regional Office XI grandstand in Camp Quintin Merecido, Barangay Catitipan, Buhangin district.
From the start of the gun ban until April 13, police conducted 113 operations resulting in the arrest of 142 individuals and the recovery of 172 firearms, 17 grenades, 16 explosives, and 35 bladed weapons. During that period, 20 people also died in armed encounter with the police.
Speaking in yesterday’s press briefing at the sidelines of the activity, Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, regional police director said that 96 were also surrendered for safekeeping by different politicians in the region, including a mayor.
“Also, some of these came from our citizens who safe-keep their firearms while the renewal for license is ongoing and also others are loose firearms (from individuals) who cannot renew their license with the PNP,” he said.
During the conduct of checkpoints, 142 firearms were recovered, 35 were subjects of search warrants, five seized during the serving of arrest warrants, 93 from police patrols, and 32 from other law enforcement operations.
Morales also said that they went back to their records to see which individuals own unlicensed firearms.
Guns seized during the commission of a crime were sent for ballistic test to see if they were connected to unresolved shooting incidents.
Based on their record, the Compostela Valley Police Provincial Office arrested 135 violators of the gun ban. Meanwhile, they recorded 124 violators from Davao del Sur, 81 from Davao del Norte, 76 from Davao City, 61 in Davao Oriental, and 41 in Davao Occidental.
Morales estimated that there are 2,000 loose firearms in the region.