‘Oplan Katok’ nets 427 loose arms from town execs

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ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat — Seven municipal  mayors in the Province of Sultan Kudarat turned over 427 loose firearms on Friday, March 9.

Central Mindanao Police Regional Director Marcelo Morales said the turn over of loose firearms was the products of their campaign to monitor all gun owners earlier issued with license to carry firearms but failed  to renew their documents.

Morales said the Philippine National Police is intensifying it’s campaign to account loose firearms and coordinate with the local government units for its recovery.

Chief Inspector Aldrin Gonzales, spokesman of the Central Mindanao PNP command, said Tacurong City topped the list because it turned over a total of 161 firearms. It was followed by Lambayong town with 129 firearms and President Quirino with 56 firearms.

The turn over of the loose firearms is part of the government’s  campaign dubbed as “Oplan Katok”.

Morales said the firearms were collected by the mayors of President Quirino, Isulan, Palembang, Columbio, Lambayong, Esperanza and Tacurong City in support of the PNP’s “Oplan Katok” program.

“Some of the guns were owned by town mayors, other elected officials and civilians,” Morales said. Most of the guns are rifles.

“The others were collected by the elected officials from their constituents in support to the PNP (Philippine National Police) drive against loose firearms,” Morales added.

The “Oplan Katok” program is a PNP program that focused in the campaign against loose guns and firearms with expired licenses.

The firearms were deposited at the repository of the Sultan Kudarat Police Provincial Office.

“PRO-12 will issue certification to local government executives as a guarantee their firearms are still under our care,” Morales said.

Morales also assured the local officials who yielded their guns and facing threats in life that they will provide them ample security.

“We are performing our duties and responsibilities.” Morales said, adding the police would ensure all guns in the locality that would be used by the political rivals of the local officials would also be seized as the implementation of Oplan Katok continues.

“In fact the level of threats is decreasing due to our tightened security and target hardening measures,” Morales added.

“We are taking as a ‘lesson learned’ on what happened in Marawi City. We are not sitting down on our duties,” Morales stressed, adding that he required all police units in the region to address issues on peace and order to prevent a Marawi-like scenario.

Morales also lauded Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Director Raul Supiter for leading the campaign in his are of responsibility as well as the local government executives of the who helped them in the campaign against loose firearms.

Authorities said the province of Sultan Kudarat has an estimated 50,000 loose firearms, including those in the hands of rebel groups.

 

 

 

The remaining four towns, Palimbang, Esperanza; Isulan and Columbio, turned-over only minimal numbers of firearms. (Ramil H. Bajo/Newsline.ph)

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