Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, February 17, 2013 (PIA)—Over the hassle of gun-owners have in renewing their licenses in Cebu, Camp Dagohoy officials hope that fire-arms licensing can be restored here.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) suspended fire-arms license renewals here for Cebu processing, over allegations of irregularity in exacting “payments” from license holders.
According to Bohol Police Senior Superintendent Constantino Barot, the PNP gathered complaints that Camp Dagohoy application and renewals-personnel “demand” additional amounts from gun-owners to facilitate their transactions.
At the monthly Kapihan sa Kampo, Supt. Barot also told media that subsequent investigations revealed that gun-owner’s themselves admitted paying more than the usual amount as their gesture of appreciation.
They said getting the license applications and renewals in Cebu would entail more costs, far more than they could personally “thank” the paper processors here.
Now, PSSupt Barot hopes that Police Regional office in Cebu would reconsider and restore the license application and renewal processing here, after the organization learned of the unfounded allegations.
The restoration of fire-arms licensing and processing here encourages more gun-owners to easily renew their expired fire-arm licenses, he stated.
Moreover, Camp Dagohoy officials shared during peace council meetings here that Bohol scored high in accounting for loose firearms in the region.
Barot, also admitted that most of the fire-arms accounted during the implementation of the election gun-ban are not accounted from checkpoints.
He said they have implemented measures to account for loose fire-arms before election season and consequently the gun-ban took effect, with “Oplan Katok.”
Oplan Katok is a way of reaching out by knocking on homes of gun-owners who may have expired fire-arm licenses, urging them to fix their papers.
Supt. Barot also told media that Boholanos tend to “willfully surrender” their unlicensed fire-arms than keep them and have illegal possession suits later.
We had the campaign against loose fire-arms since December and we are just so happy the people responded so well, Barot said.
Most of the fire-arms we recovered at Camp Dagohoy came to be surrendered by owners who know the implications of possessing an illegal fire-arm, he said in front of media and Camp officials.
Besides, we implemented a policy in Bohol where every police station has to account for at least one fire-arm per month.
In February, during the peace council meeting here, Camp Dagohoy reported seven more fire-arms which the government authorities have recovered in January 2013. (30/sjp)