The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday ordered all unit commanders to sustain the campaign against loose firearms even as the election gun ban ended on June 8.
Based on PNP data, a total of 3,651 individuals were arrested with a total of 2,812 firearms confiscated during the implementation of the gun ban from January 9 to June 8.
"Firearms are the main instrument in criminal activities, so we really need to continue our aggressive operations as a crime prevention measure and to ensure peace and order nationwide," said PNP director for operations, Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, in a statement.
He added that this is also the standing order of PNP officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr.
De Leon expects all police commanders to continue crime prevention measures that include the conduct of checkpoints and intelligence-driven actions against criminal elements.
De Leon, who used to head the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office, said he wants police officers on the ground to pay special attention to the accounting of loose firearms in the country.
"If we continue our aggressive operations against loose firearms, then we will be denying these criminal elements the opportunity to strike, and therefore, this will translate to further improving our peace and order situation," de Leon said.
He added that police commanders were also tasked with accounting for all the firearms with expired licenses in order to compel the registered owners to either renew or surrender the guns to the local police units to avoid legal trouble.
Data from the PNP data also showed there were more than 600,000 firearms with expired licenses across the country as of the second quarter of 2021.
Firearms with expired licenses are considered by the PNP as loose firearms, along with hundreds of thousands of unlicensed firearms, based on the estimate of the intelligence community.
Source: Philippines News Agency