Guns seized, owners gone

Citizens were aghast why, of the eleven joint PNP and COMELEC checkpoints across the province, only one suspect armed with a unlicensed firearms was arrested while the 10 others escaped from the authorities.

How come? Where was police and Comelec capabilities.?

Since the imposition of the gun ban last week, authorities arrested  only one person for illegal possession of firearm and eleven guns were seized.

The election gun ban is from January 13 to June 12, 2019. Prohibited during the period is carrying of firearms and weapons, hiring of bodyguards, and transportation of firearms, explosives, spare parts and raw materials. Meanwhile, the issuance, approval and release of firearms, permit to carry guns, mission orders and memorandum receipts of law enforcement agencies are suspended.

Those found guilty of violating the gun ban can be imprisoned from 1 to 6 years, deportation and permanent disqualification from public office and loss of the right to vote.

However, the checkpoints in Basay, San Jose, Vallehermoso, Siaton, Jimalalud, Bacong, Valencia, Amlan, Zamboanguita and Guihulngan City only managed to recover the ten guns purportedly thrown on the road  by motorcycle riders who evaded capture.

Illegal possession of guns and ammunition is punisheable with 18 years in jail. So the illegal holders opted to throw the guns away on the road and evaded arrest. Did the police do a hot pursuit?  It remains to be confirmed.

In contrast, a 39-year-old suspect identified as Dede Nosal was arrested in Barangay Dawis, Bayawan City for carrying a .357 Smith and Wesson revolver 10 live bullets for different types of handguns. The suspect, a resident of Barangay Kalamtukan, Bayawan City was intercepted and accosted for having in his possession an unlicensed firearm.

In sum, 6 pieces of .38 caliber pistols, 3 pieces .357 revolver and .22 caliber pistol along with 22 live were recovered by the roadsides near the areas where the checkpoints were established.