PHILIPPINES: Stricter gun control measures ordered

March 26, 2012

Written by: Alfred Dalizon

Original Story VIA:  Philippine Journal Online

MAMANG PULIS — PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome has ordered the implementation of stricter gun control measures aimed at reducing by 10 percent gun-related crimes and reducing by 3.38 percent the number of loose firearms in the country.

He tasked the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management to spearhead the massive nationwide gun control campaign aimed also at accounting for loose firearms and tens of thousands of licensed guns whose owners have failed to renew their registration over the years.

Bartolome also directed all 17 police regional directors and the different PNP national operational support units to go after loose firearm holders in their jurisdiction to arrest increasing number of criminal incidents involving the use of firearms, mostly loose weapons.

The PNP Firearms and Explosives Office headed by Senior Superintendent Raul D. Petrasanta has been tasked to furnish police regional offices with complete list of delinquent firearm holders for appropriate action.

The PNP operational plan called “Oplan Kontra Boga” includes home visits to gun owners with expired licenses in a bid to reduce by more than three percent the number of loose firearms in the country every month.

Gen. Bartolome instructed his men to conduct home visits to gun owners with expired licenses to either urge them to secure necessary documents or confiscate their firearms.

There are around 1.1 million loose firearms in the country, according to PNP estimates in 2009. The number is believed to have gone down drastically as the PNP launched its first massive anti-weapons campaign before the 2010 elections won by President Benigno Aquino III.

Gen. Bartolome said the proposal to visit the homes of persons with delinquent firearm licenses was approved during the first national summit on firearms control held in Camp Crame in 2009.

The PNP chief said that police operations against unregistered firearms would include dragnet operations in crime-prone areas, mobile checkpoints and choke points, intelligence build-up, application of search warrants and the dismantling of private armed groups.