PNP seizes 723 firearms in year-long operations

A total of 723 guns of various caliber were seized by the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA) as it intensified its campaign to regulate security guards, private detectives and watchmen, the Philippine National Police (PNP) bared on Friday.


In a presentation at Camp Crame in Quezon City, Colonel Sidney Villaflor, director of the PNP-SOSIA, said the guns were confiscated in 1,097 post-to-post inspections conducted from June 2019 to June 2020.

The guns were seized due to violation of Republic Act 5487 or the Private Security Agency Law by private security agencies and security officers.

Of the forfeited guns, Villaflor said 187 were released to its owner-agencies after they complied with the noted violations while the remaining 536 were forwarded to the Crime Laboratory (CL) and Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) for further validation.

The SOSIA has since implemented stricter regulations of security officers after some of them were linked to a number of illegal activities.

The most recent incident was the killing of four suspected Islamic State-linked and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists in Paranaque City last week. Three of the suspects were security guards working in condominium buildings and a local tire shop.

Villaflor said the suspects were licensed security guards since based on records, the latest approval of their gun licenses (was) two years ago and (these would) expire next year.

Other violators were linked to the so-called "kambal baril" scheme where two or more firearms were tampered to have the same serial numbers.

This is in violation of Section 34 of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition which prohibits tampering, obliteration or alteration of firearms identification.

Villaflor said the PNP-SOSIA will implement stricter measures in screening applicants and monitoring security agencies under its wing.

At present, a security guard, private detective or watchman is required to submit a clearance form from the Directorate of Intelligence (PNP-DI), a national police clearance, and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance among others before s/he can be hired by a security agency.