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Danao wants ‘certainty of punishment’ for gun ban violators

June 13, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 279 views

DanaoNOW that the five-month election period is over, Philippine National Police (PNP) Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr. Monday said he wants the certainty of punishment for over 3,600 gun ban offenders apprehended by the police nationwide from January 9 to last June 8.

Danao said they will continue to provide full investigative support to the National Prosecution Service to establish airtight cases against the persons arrested for violation of the Omnibus Election Code and other laws during the just concluded 152-day election period for the 2022 National and Local Elections.

“While it is rightful to declare the 2022 elections as generally peaceful and orderly, the law must be applied to all those who willfully violated election laws through prohibited acts,” Danao said.

The PNP-OIC referred to the 3,436 cases filed by the PNP against persons arrested for violation of the gun ban, liquor ban and for vote-buying and vote-selling.

As the election period officially concluded Wednesday midnight, the PNP accounted for a total of 3,829 persons arrested for violation of Comelec resolutions during the election period.

“The law enforcement pillar of the Criminal Justice System has effectively discharged its function to arrest violators of the law, the next step is to ensure ‘successful prosecution’ of the offenders,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.

The lawbreakers include 3,651 violators of the gun ban, 128 violators of the liquor ban and 50 suspects in election fraud for alleged vote-buying or selling.

Arrested for unauthorized carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons during the election period include 28 policemen, 22 Armed Forces personnel, 61 security guards; 3,513 civilians, and 27 others.

During the 152-day election period, the PNP confiscated 2,812 firearms including 86 light weapons and 2,705 handguns, 17,401 rounds of assorted live ammunition, 140 explosive devices, and 1,265 bladed deadly weapons, records culled by the PNP Command Center showed.

“By taking away these instruments of violence, crime, and oppression from the hands of unauthorized individuals, criminal elements and partisan armed groups, the PNP ably ensured safe and secure elections, free from imminent threats to peace,” Danao said.

“The huge hoard of confiscated firearms, ammunition and explosives alone is enough firepower to arm a sizable force that can pose a very serious threat to peace and security,” he added.

According to the PNP-OIC, their strict enforcement of the nationwide gun ban contributed significantly to the reduction of election-related violent incidents during the 2022 polls.

Lt. Gen. Danao noted that during the 2022 election period, only 27 validated Election-Related Incidents were recorded, which pales in comparison ti the 133 ERIs recorded in 2019 and 166 ERIs in 2010.

The PNP-OIC further explained that the crime environment during the 2022 election period showed a significant decrease of 59,115 or 41.75 percent in the number of Total Peace and Order Index compared with the period in 2016. The number of focus crimes also went down by 42,616 or 73.98 percent during the two comparative periods, he added.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) headed by Major Gen. Felipe R. Natividad accounted for the most number of violators with 1,322 followed by the Police Regional Office 4-A in Calabarzon region under Brigadier Gen. Antonio C. Yarra with 397.

The PRO7 in Central Visayas headed by Brig. Gen. Roque Edgardo DP Vega apprehended 397 offenders followed by the PRO3 in Central Luzon under Brig. Gen. Matthew P. Baccay with 244. The PRO6 in Western Visayas headed by Brig. Gen. Flynn E. Dongbo accounted for 218 offenders.

The arrested violators are now facing charges for violation of the Omnibus Election Code and Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 or RA 9516 or illegal possession of explosives depending on the evidence recovered from their possession during checkpoints, service of warrants of arrest of search warrants, police interdiction and other operations, said Lt. Gen. Danao.