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Gun ban ends; 4,661 violators nabbed – PNP

The Philippine National Police said yesterday that 4,661 persons, among them 57 policemen and soldiers, were arrested for violating the nationwide election gun ban that ended midnight Wednesday.

Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesman, said the number of persons arrested for violating the gun ban in the 2016 elections increased compared to the 2013 polls with 3,724 violators.

Of the 4,661 persons arrested for violating the gun ban in the 2016 polls, 36 of them were policemen while 21 were soldiers.

In 2013 elections, 50 policemen and 23 soldiers were collared for violating the gun ban being implemented by the PNP.

Seized in the 150-day gun ban this year were 3,828 firearms, 211 more than in the 2013 midterm elections.

Director General Ricardo C. Marquez, PNP chief, attributed the increase in gun ban violators arrested this year to the effective implementation of security measures that include checkpoints and operations against armed groups.

Aside from checkpoints, most of the firearms and gun ban violators were collared in the so-called “One-Time, Big-Time” operations in which policemen have been implementing simultaneous operations using search warrants.

“I commend all our PNP personnel who have performed very well before, during, and after the election period as well as our fellow public servants in the military, Commission on Elections, and other government and non-government agencies. The achievement of the PNP is the success of the people,” said Marquez.

“But then again, it is the strong conviction of the PNP that the best deterrence to the commission of the crime is the certainty of prosecution of these arrested gun ban offenders,” he added.

Mayor said they have filed charges against almost all of the gun ban violators this year. But he assured that all of them will be charged in court.

For government employees that include policemen and soldiers who were arrested for gun ban violations this year, Mayor said administrative charges will be filed against them.

“In the case of the policemen violators, they will be charged with grave misconduct which is punishable at the minimum with suspension and dismissal from service,” said Mayor.

Mayor said the seized firearms this year will be subjected to ballistic examinations per protocol to determine if they were used in the commission of crimes in the past. (Aaron B. Recuenco)