Gunban guns tested for possible involvement in crime

The PNP Crime Laboratory is conducting ballistics examination on some 3,500 guns that were confiscated in the gunban in connection with the May 9, 2016 national and local elections.

The policy of mandatory ballistics examination on confiscated firearms is contained in the 2013 Revised Police Operational Procedures.

Rule 15.3 of the 2013 Revised Police Operational Procedures provides for the Mandatory Examination of Firearms Seized/Confiscated during Police Operations, according to PNP Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Wilben M Mayor.

This mandatory procedure, he said, is an investigative tool that seeks to establish the possible involvement of suspected firearms in previous shooting incidents.

The same procedure requires "all firearms, cartridges and slugs seized, captured or recovered during checkpoints or pursuit operations or in any other police operations including those seized during the service of warrants and, more importantly, those recovered from the crime scene shall immediately be submitted to the local Crime Laboratory (CLO) which shall in turn process it for capturing and cross-matching through the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS).

As of Friday, May 13, 2016, the PNP has confiscated an assortment of 3,492 guns, over the last four months since a nationwide gunban was put in effect by the COMELEC in connection with the May 9, 2016 national and local elections.

In addition, police also confiscated 37,428 bullets, 281 grenades and 313 explosive devices from violators.

"The guns and ammunition we confiscated are enough firepower to arm five or six battalions of combat troops," according to Mayor.

"By taking away these instruments of violence from criminal elements and lawless individuals, we were able to preempt imminent danger that may have marred the otherwise peaceful outcome of last Monday's elections and save lives in the process," Mayor said.

"I can't imagine how much damage 37,000 bullets and 500 explosives can do to our lives," the PNP Spokesman added.

A total of 4,231 gunban violators had been arrested as of Friday, composed mostly of civilians (4,049). These violators face criminal prosecution for violation of the Omnibus Election Code and the Firearms and Ammunition Law. The election gunban ends on June 8, 2016 upon culmination of the 60-day election period.

Source: Philippine Information Agency