By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) here reported on Tuesday that 41 persons were arrested for violation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban since the start of its implementation on Jan 9, 2022.
Lieutenant Abegael Donasco, Nocppo public information officer, said 35 police operations, including checkpoint and other police-initiated operations, were conducted that led to the arrest of these violators.
Aside from that, Donasco said that a total of 126 loose firearms were also surrendered, while 85 others were deposited to various police stations in the province, as of March 7, 2022.
Of the total surrendered firearms, 55 were surrendered in January, 61 in February, and 10 this month.
For the deposited firearms, 22 were recorded in January, 52 in February, and 11 in March.
Donasco said that surrendered firearms are those guns that have no licenses like the homemade or improvised guns, while the deposited ones are those with expired firearm licenses that need to be renewed.
Donasco said that one factor that contributed to their accomplishment on loose firearms is their program “Armas Baylo Bugas,” which encouraged individuals to surrender or submit their firearms to the authorities in exchange for a sack or kilos of rice.
“It’s a very good initiative,” she added. Thus, the provincial police force continue to urge gun owners to cooperate with the police.