Police Brigadier General Romulo Sapitula, Regional Director of the Philippine National Police in Region 1 visits Ilocos Norte. (Photo courtesy of the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office)
LAOAG CITY -- A total of 237 persons were apprehended in Region 1 (Ilocos Region) since the start of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban on January 13, a police official said on Thursday.
Police regional director, Brig. Gen. Romulo Sapitula, said the arrested persons are composed of 231 civilians, and six government officials for carrying firearms, gun replicas, explosives, and bladed weapons.
Based on the Regional Election Monitoring Action Center (REMAC), at least 28 were nabbed in Ilocos Norte, 30 in Ilocos Sur, 35 in La Union, and 144 in Pangasinan.
The violators were arrested at checkpoints, in buy-bust and other police operations.
With intensified police operations in various parts of the region, police officers seized 168 assorted firearms, including 129 guns and 38 gun replicas.
To date, a total of 1,918 other weapons were also confiscated, which include 25 grenades, 14 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), 1,841 ammunition, and 38 bladed weapons.
“I ordered our police on the ground to be extra vigilant especially that the campaign period for the mid-term elections has started. This is to ensure the safety and security of the political candidates who are visiting our region for their campaign sorties,” Sapitula said.
During his recent visit to Ilocos Norte, Sapitula ordered his men and the public safety forces to ensure their operational readiness and maximum security in their area of responsibilities, particularly in securing vital installations and other possible targets of lawless elements. (PNA)