ONLY 488 SURRENDERED IN REGION
CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO—There are 21,257 firearms in Pangasinan whose licenses expired and have not been renewed being targeted by police regional office’s “Oplan Katok,” a door-to-door visit of houses of firearm holders by policemen.
P/Brig. General Romulo E. Sapitula, PRO1 Regional Director, said the intensified Oplan Katok is part of the preparations of the police for the upcoming 2019 Midterm Elections to remove possible instruments that could be used by anyone to commit violence.
So far, 488 assorted firearms were collected by the police in the region and these were turned over by 41 politicians, 36 candidates and 411 civilians.
Sapitula said 14 of the firearms were voluntarily surrendered in favor of the government by their respective gun owners, who expressed no more interest to own and keep them.
The rest or 474 were deposited with the police for safekeeping while awaiting their licenses to be processed.
“The surrendered and deposited firearms, however, could just be a tip of the iceberg,” Sapitula said.
According PNP PRO1 Information Officer P/Lt. Col. Mary Crystal Peralta, PRO1 seeks to account for 38,042 firearms with expired licenses as of December 31, 2018.
Of the number, 21,257 are in Pangasinan, 5,405 in Ilocos Norte, 6,242 in Ilocos Sur, and 5,138 in La Union.
Sapitula ordered a round-the-clock “Oplan Katok” to the houses of all the identified gun holders and to conduct intensified anti-criminality operations and checkpoints in the region for the conduct of Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE).
Two of the surrendered firearms that were turned over in favor of the government came from Ilocos Norte; and 12 from Ilocos Sur.
Of the deposited firearms, 31 were from Ilocos Norte, 50 from Ilocos Sur, 97 from La Union and 296 from Pangasinan.
Sapitula led on Thursday afternoon (February 28) the ceremonial turnover of the surrendered and deposited firearms to the Regional Civil Security Unit 1. (Leonardo Micua)
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