By Martin Sadongdong
As the May 2019 midterm election nears, at least 80 loose firearms that were rounded-up during 10 days of focused police operations in Cavite were presented Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde in Camp Crame, Quezon City Monday.
Albayalde described the seized loose firearms as “potential instruments of violence and oppression” as he said these could be used in election-related violence leading to the May polls.
“By taking away these instruments of violence from the hands of unauthorized individuals and criminal elements, we are making proactive steps to mitigate the possibility of involvement of these firearms in criminal activity and election-related violence,” he said.
Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza, Calabarzon police regional director, said the focused police operations against loose firearms were conducted from February 27 to March 10 in the entire province of Cavite.
Of the 80 seized firearms, 28 were confiscated after the service of search warrants against unauthorized individuals.
Meanwhile, 52 guns were surrendered to the police by 33 private individuals, two politicians and two running candidates who had expired and unrenewed licenses.
The seized guns included 42 caliber 45s; 19 caliber 38s; eight caliber 9mms; three caliber 40s; four shotguns; two caliber 22s; a 7.62 rifle; and a sub-machine gun.
“This cache include confiscated, seized, recovered and surrendered firearms with delinquent registration, and other loose firearms confiscated from unauthorized individuals thru search warrant, checkpoint, and anti-criminality operations,” Albayalde said.
“These confiscated firearms represent our on-going intensified campaign on gun ban, and recovery of loose firearms to reduce the risk factors for the coming national and local elections,” he added.
Carranza bared that at least 19 suspects were arrested by the police for illegal possession of firearms during the focused operations, most notable of which Jaime Hembrador, the barangay captain in San Agustine 3, Dasmarinas City.
“He was arrested for poking his firearms to his constituents,” Carranza told reporters. Police seized from Hembrador’s possession a Cobray M11 9mm sub-machine gun and a Squidman caliber 22.
Meanwhile, Albayalde lauded the result of the focused operations of the Cavite police headed by Senior Superintendent William Segun under the Calabarzon Police Regional Office under Carranza’s leadership.
“I expect that all Police Regional Offices will likewise intensify their law enforcement operations in their respective areas,” Albayalde said.