LEGAZPI CITY — The total gun ban campaign in connection with the October Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election went on full swing after police and military authorities in Bicol arrested 13 people and seized from them at least 22 various types of low and high powered firearms and explosives, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol said.
Chief Supt. Cecilio Calleja, PNP Bicol regional director, said the arrest of gun ban violators and the subsequent confiscation of their firearms all came from the PNP checkpoints set in strategic areas across the six provinces of the region.
Calleja said various police commands in the six provinces in Bicol were placed on heightened alert since the last week of September following the total gun ban imposed by the Commission on Election (COMELEC) for the upcoming barangay and SK election on Oct. 25 this year.
He said the PNP has set up stationary and mobile check points and conducted 537 operations that led to the arrest of 13 people and the confiscation of 13 hand guns, nine high powered firearms consisting of M16 rifles, KG9 submachine guns, and shotguns, including chemical substance for explosives and detonating caps.
Calleja said at the start of the gun ban campaign Task Force Masbate (TFM) has arrested at least four suspected members of a Private Armed Groups (PAGs) operating in the towns of Aroroy and San Pascual in Masbate.
San Pascual town was the site of the deadliest poll- related violence incidents this year where five people, including a town councilman were killed in a daylight ambush staged by suspected PAGs in a remote village here.
Calleja said TFM operatives have confiscated at least eight high-powered firearms since its reactivation about two months ago.