HARDEST hit by the Philippine National Police’s strict policy on firearms and bodyguards are politicians who have not only been stripped of their power over the police but also stripped of their gun permits and licenses as well as security personnel after being accused of grave abuse of authority and involvement in heinous crimes.
Since last month, PNP Chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has ordered the cancellation of the firearms’ licenses and Permit-to-Carry-Firearms-Outside-of-Residence or PTCFORs of three politicians: two of them accused of mauling a cop in Iloilo and the third, a town mayor accused of masterminding the killing of his closest rival in the forthcoming May 13 election.
“It’s a simple case of hitting them hard and the PNP chief’s move literally had badly affected their movements specifically during the coming campaign period.” a police official told the Journal Group.
Last December, Iloilo Representative Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr. and his father Guimbal, Iloilo Mayor Oscar Garin, surrendered at least 16 firearms after Gen. Albayalde ordered the cancellation of all their gun licenses.
On Tuesday, Rep. Garin’s political officer also turned over for safekeeping two other high-powered firearms -- a Colt 5.56 automatic rifle and a Bersa pistol -- both covered with a PTCFOR to the San Juan City Police Station headed by Senior Superintendent Dindo Reyes.
The two Garins were also stripped of their police bodyguards after being accused of mauling a cop and even spitting on the face of the latter which infuriated the PNP leadership which described the incident as a “brazen act” of abuse of authority.
Latest to feel the wrath of the PNP leadership is Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwin Baldo, who was also stripped of his PTCFOR and firearms licenses by Gen. Albayalde after he was tagged as the “brains” behind the killing of his closest rival, AKO Bicol party-list Rrep. Rodel Batocabe, and the latter’s policeman-bodyguard Senior Police Officer 2 Orlando Diaz on December 22.
“Immediately effective today, I have ordered the revocation of firearms licenses and Permit-to-Carry-Firearms-Outside-of-Residence or PTCFOR of Mayor Baldo and has recommended the removal of his deputation over the local police of Daraga, Albay. This is a victory of the rule of law in this country. This is also a stern warning against those unscrupulous politicians who will resort to violence to gain elected position. The long arms of the law will eventually catch on you,” Albayalde said on Thursday.
The PNP chief, joined by PNP CIDG director Chief Supt. Amador V. Corpus and PNP Intelligence Group director Senior Supt. Edgar Monsalve announced the solution of the Batocabe case.