TACLOBAN CITY- The Police Regional Office 8 (PRO-8) continues its implementation of “Oplan Katok” – a door-to-door visit of police to the known addresses of firearm holders who have not renewed its firearm license and registration yet. Chief Superintendent Asher Dolina, acting police regional director, in a press statement, said that this Oplan Katok operation against loose firearms is one of the most effective tools against organized crime groups, private armed groups (PAGs) and wanted persons who usually use loose firearms as their primary equipment in the conduct of their criminal activities.
“Firearm license not renewed before or within the date of expiry is considered illegal per our existing laws,” Dolina said. Dolina gives an option to individuals who failed to renew their licenses due to financial constraints to safe-deposit the firearm to the nearest PNP offices. “There are cases wherein gun owners are already deceased and then family members do not know what to do with the firearm, then they may also deposit the gun to us for safekeeping,” Dolina said.
Dolina pointed out that under Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms Law signed by President Aquino on May 29 last year , penalizes the illegal possession of firearm from prison mayor (six to twelve years of imprisonment) up to reclusion perpetua (thirty years of imprisonment) depending on the classification of firearm.
The police regional director, in the same press statement, said that since they started their campaign on August 1, 2014 since today, they have found out that 1,590 firearm holders moved to another places while 977 addresses cannot be found.
On the other hand, it was also discovered that there were 455 licenses that were not transferred to the current gun owners while 183 individuals, who were reported as gun holders, denied ownership of any firearms. Dolina further added that 381 firearms were surrendered for safekeeping while 793 licensees were declared as deceased or expired. (RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)