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 PNP faces more gun-free zones

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PostSubject: PNP faces more gun-free zones   Sat May 23, 2009 1:27 pm

PNP faces more gun-free zones
BY GILBERT BAYORAN

The Visayan DAILY STAR electronic Edition
source: http://www.visayandailystar.com/2009/May/23/topstory9.htm

The Philippine National Police is now mulling the possibility of expanding “gun-free zones” in towns, cities, or provinces, based on the recommendation of police commanders, and in close coordination with local government units concerned, Civil Security Group chief Ireno Bacolod said.

The famous Boracay Island in Western Visayas has been identified by the PNP as among the six “pilot project areas” for gun free zones all over the country.

Bacolod, who is also the chief of the Firearms and Explosives Office, said they are also eyeing the inclusion of business districts and establishments in the gun-free zones.

The setting up of gun-free zones is among the measures mapped out by the PNP to address the proliferation of loose firearms in the country, where majority of the crime incidents are related to loose firearms.

Senior Supt. Manuel Felix, provincial police director, yesterday said majority of the incidents related to the use of firearms, took place in the outskirts of Negros Occidental towns or cities.

That is why, he added, a special unit was organized to focus on the campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms.

Chief Insp. Rico Santotome, NOPPO spokesman, said they have recovered 58 unlicensed firearms since January, seven of them high-powered ones.

Provisions of the proposed “gun free zones” include the suspension of permits to carry firearms, and prohibition of the display of firearms by uniformed and non-uniformed personnel manning the tourist spots.

Bacolod said the success of the gun-free zone project in the six identified areas would mean the setting up of more pilot projects across the country.

"There will be checkpoints in these gun-free zones and civilians have to deposit their firearms," he added.

Data from the World Health Organization revealed that 97.7 percent of homicide cases in the Philippines are gun-related, placing the country at number 10 among those with the most number of gun-related deaths around the world.

An estimated 1.1 million loose firearms are reported by the PNP to be proliferating all over the country.

Bacolod said they will coordinate with local peace and order councils for the identification of the places to be turned into gun-free zones.*GPB

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