CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO, SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union — The strict implementation of the Ilocos police campaign against loose firearms dubbed “One-Time Big Bang” resulted in the arrest of 24 persons and confiscation of 13 firearms since January 10, the start of the gun ban, to January 17.
Chief Superintendent Ericson T. Velasquez, Ilocos PNP acting Regional director, said the police launched a total of 25 “shock and awe” operations supported by search warrants to the suspected targets all over the region.
A breakdown of the police report showed that Pangasian topped in the number of persons arrested and firearms confiscated, with 10 and five, respectively; La Union, eight persons, one firearm; Ilocos Sur, two persons, one firearm; Ilocos Sur, one firearm two persons; Ilocos Norte, one firearm, two persons; and the Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, two persons and three firearms.
Velasquez said the 25 operations was part of the police plan to assure the public that the Ilocos police was serious in its campaign, particularly in hauling loose and unregistered firearms that could be used during the 2016 polls.
The OTBB also focuses in dismantling existing and emerging private armed groups and firearms holders associated with unscrupulous politicians.
On the enforcement of the election gun ban, the Ilocos police has arrested 12 violators and confiscated nine assorted firearms, mostly during buy-bust and checkpoint operations.
Meanwhile, a total of 50 candidates in the 2016 national and local elections deposited with the police their firearms for safekeeping and in support to PRO1’s advocacy for a secure and fair election (SAFE 2016).
Now under safekeeping since the start of the gun ban are 79 assorted firearms owned by elected and government officials and candidates for elective positions: 13 in Ilocos Norte, 10 in Ilocos Sur, 49 in La Union; and 7 in Pangasinan. PNA and Tomas Picana / northboundasia.com