STEPPED-UP enforcement of the gun ban in Central Mindanao since last January 13 has resulted in the confiscation of 76 high-powered firearms as of yesterday, Police Regional Office 12 director Brig. Gen. Eliseo Rasco said.
The PRO12 has supervision of the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, General Santos City, and the cities of Cotabato, Koronadal, Tacurong and Kidapawan or Soccsksargen.
According to Rasco, the firearms were seized either by policemen manning gun ban checkpoints and chokepoints, during the service of search warrants for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 and during police response.
Rasco said they are intensifying their enforcement of the prohibition on the unauthorized carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons to arrest the possibility they could be used to disrupt the campaign period in the region.
So far, he said they have not recorded any election-related violent incident in the region since last January 13, the start of the election period which will last until June 12.
“We hope that we can sustain this kind of peace and order situation that we are enjoying right now and will continue until the election period concludes. Rest assured that your Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will do their best to bring peace and order in society. What we only need from the community is full cooperation,” the member of Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” Class of 1986 said.
He said that 26 of the illegal weapons were confiscated by the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office followed by the Cotabato PPO, with 19; Sarangani PPO, with 11; General Santos City Police Office, with 10; Sultan Kudarat PPO, with 9; and Cotabato City Police Office, with 1.
Rasco urged residents of the region to fully support the police and the military in their peacekeeping effort by seeing to it that they will remain vigilant and report to the nearest police station the presence of suspicious movements of people, particularly those carrying firearms and other deadly weapons.