BELEAGUERED radio broadcaster Erwin Tulfo is abroad and thus cannot personally turn over his licensed weapons to the Philippine National Police although his License to Own and Possess Firearm or LTOFP had already expired last March 3, PNP spokesman Colonel Bernard M. Banac said yesterday.
“Ang pinakahuli nating ulat na natanggap ay nasa abroad si Mr. Erwin Tulfo kaya hindi pa naaksyunan ang renewal of his license at pagsuko ng mga firearms,” the PNP spokesperson told the Journal Group.
According to Banac, they have information that Tulfo left the country even before the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office notified him of the expiration of his LTOFP and the need for him to renew it or his licensed firearms will be confiscated.
“Inaalam na lang natin kung kailan talaga ang kanyang pagbalik,’ the official said without identifying the country where Tulfo is at the moment.
He earlier said that just like the hundreds of other licensed firearm holders with expired LTOFPs, Tulfo may sooner or later find himself being the subject of the PNP Oplan: Katok in which uniformed police officers will knock on his door and ask him to renew his gun papers.
Since 2016, hundreds who have ignored the PNP appeal for them to renew their gun papers have found themselves the subject of a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
Should he finally decide to renew his LTOFP, Tulfo has to undergo the required drug and neuro-psychiatric test and produce clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation and the PNP.
Banac also stressed that the law also states that Tulfo still has to surrender his licensed firearms as long as his LTOFP is expired.
PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde had maintained they are not singling out Tulfo saying that other licensed gunholders with expired LTOFPs found themselves being subjected to police action.
Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 states that licensed firearms are considered invalid in the event that the LTOFP of their registered owners expire.
“We’ll be forced to undertake police actions. Alam naman nila ‘yan. We’ve done that in several individuals already,” Albayalde said during a press briefing on Monday.
Since RA 10591 was enacted and police implemented its vaunted Oplan: Katok in 2015, police have raided dozens of houses of gunholders with expired firearms licenses after they failed to have them renewed despite being told to do so.