More police visibility, strict gun control measures to deter criminality -- Palace

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

MALACANANG on Tuesday said that the government will address criminality by increasing police visibility and strictly enforcing gun-control measures.

"We note the directives issued at a Command Conference yesterday (Monday) by the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to increase police visibility through intensified patrols and checkpoints, stricter enforcement of gun-control measures, neutralization of guns-for-hire and implementation of search warrants for loose firearms," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing.

Coloma noted that increased police visibility, through patrols and setting up of checkpoints, would deter criminals, especially if coupled with “heightened citizen vigilance”.

To improve the ideal police-to-population ratio, he said PNP Chief, Director General Allan Purisima, has ordered the fast-tracking of the processing of applications to fill up 18,568 vacancies for Police Officers and 13,000 positions for Non-uniformed Personnel, as authorized by the National Police Commission.

The hiring of additional police officers will improve the ratio to one police officer for every 579 citizens from the present ratio of 1:675, he added.

Coloma also cited the Quezon City Police Department’s effort to set up mobile police desks in strategic points to give citizens easy access to police assistance.

He further said that in Pangasinan, the PNP has created a task force to oversee anti-criminality operations and neutralize guns-for-hire.

"Another important move taken by the PNP is the stricter enforcement of gun control pursuant to its duty as the chief implementing agency for Republic Act No. Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act”, passed in 2013," Coloma added.

Before the May 2013 elections, the PNP conducted Oplan Katok, a nationwide door-to-door campaign to verify ownership of registered firearms.

"This was also aimed at neutralizing partisan armed groups or private armies. The successful conduct of this campaign resulted in a significantly lower incidence of election-related violence, especially in known hotspots," Coloma said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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