PRO-6’s anti-loose guns campaign yields 1,760 firearms in 7 months

(CIDG-Capiz/file photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

In just seven months, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 was able to seize 1,760 firearms from the hands of unlicensed individuals.

Brigadier General Leo Francisco, Western Visayas police chief, presented the confiscated firearms on Monday, March 6.

The guns were seized as part of the PRO-6 campaign Tokhang Kontra Armas Luthang (TKAL) from Aug.15, 2022 to Feb. 28, 2023.

TKAL, a fun poke at “tikal” or boastful that is jokingly attached to Ilonggos, is PRO-6’s revitalized campaign against criminality, particularly in addressing the proliferation of loose firearms.

TKAL employs two approaches: the soft-hand and the iron-hand approach.

The soft-hand approach or Tokhang Panagbalay is a courteous way of appealing to the community to support and cooperate by surrendering or depositing their firearms with expired licenses pending renewal of firearm license and License to Own and Posses Firearm (LTOPF) or those without valid permits.

The iron-hand approach or strict law enforcement via Focused-Targeted Police Operation is conducted through the application and implementation of search warrants.

On the soft-hand approach, the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) recovered most firearms with 524 while the Iloilo PPO seized 436, followed by Antique PPO with 199.

For the iron-hand approach, the Iloilo PPO has the most number of confiscated firearms at 53 while NOCPPO is at second with 43 and Capiz at 3rd with 13.

Francisco said the intensified campaign on loose firearms is instrumental to the significant decrease in crime incidents, particularly in the cases of murder, homicide, physical injuries and threats attributed to the use of firearms, and improved the peace and order situation of Western Visayas.

But he also admitted that there are still thousands of loose guns – those that were not registered and those that were not renewed.

A year ago, the Regional Civil Security Unit (RCSU)-6 estimated 28,794 firearms all over the region had unrenewed licenses.

Based on the baseline data, the region has around 43,000 firearm holders.

A good number of firearm holders failed to renew their licenses as mandated under Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act).

RA 10591 set the qualification for civilian ownership of firearms in the country.

Most of these loose firearms are in Iloilo province with 6,307.

Not far behind is Negros Occidental with 5,689; Iloilo City with 4,692; Bacolod City with 4,645; Capiz with 3,389; Aklan with 1,774; Antique with 1,748; and Guimaras with 540.

Most of the 28,000 loose firearms have remained unrenewed while some were either deposited, declared lost, or sold.

Some have been surrendered to police authorities.

Other gun owners denied ownership or are considered fictitious persons.

But a good number of owners have already transferred residence, have already died, and have uncertain addresses.

Some gun holders are classified custodia legis or “in the custody of the law.”

It was gathered that most of these firearm owners who failed to renew their firearms have been subjected to “Tokhang,” getting visited and knocked, to inform them to renew their licenses.

Some have cited several reasons why they have yet to process their renewal.


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