Metal detectors seen to boost crackdown vs loose guns
CEBU, Philippines — The Police Regional Office (PRO) in Central Visayas is in need of metal detectors to boost its crackdown on loose firearms.
Chief Superintendent Debold Sinas, PRO-7 director, said police operatives should also be armed with metal detectors, not just guns.
He said criminals are becoming more uncanny, to the point of burying illegal firearms to hide them from authorities.
On Tuesday, 80 pieces of .38 caliber pistol were unearthed in Sitio 5, Barangay Camp 4, Talisay City. The guns were allegedly owned by Jerome Labitad, the city’s No. 1 most wanted criminal, an alleged gun trafficker, and an alleged drug group leader.
The guns called “paltik” or homemade firearm were buried some 75 meters away from Labitad group’s abandoned warehouse.
Sinas said the operatives served two search warrants against Labitad, but both turned out negative.
“In two occasions naghatod mi og search warrant sa ilang balay puro negative, diay to gilubong,” he said.
He said the equipment would help police improve their operations.
“Ang metal detector nato is to detect metal sa body. Wala mi pang-yuta,” the police chief said.
In a separate development, the Philippine National Police Crime laboratory is currently examining the excavated firearms to determine whether they are same with the guns made in Danao City.
Sinas said the gun-for-hire criminals in Talisay City are may be connected with Labitad because most of them are using the same caliber.
“This only shows nga kini gyud ang standard nga gipanggamit sa mga small time criminals nato, mga pushers mga ingun ana,” he said.
Some of the most frequently used gun types wielded by drug criminals were made in Danao.
A 2017 Philippine National Police (PNP) report found that 37.1 percent of weapons confiscated during anti-drug operations were .38 caliber pistols, and these kinds of guns were sold in Danao City for as low as P3,500.
Danao’s illegal gun industry is reportedly thriving despite attempts at a crackdown.
Just this year, Danao police have arrested at least 33 suspects under Republic Act (RA) No. 10591 or the “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.”
On the other hand, Sinas wants to give Christmas gifts to the children who discovered the loose firearms.
“This is one way of showing that we gained their trust. Tagaan og Christmas gift ang mga bata isip pasasalamat nila. Pwede man to nila ipa kilo kay bakal man to, pero wa nila gibuhat. Instead, ilang gi-report dayon,” he said.
It can be recalled that a group of children looking for firewood in the area discovered a sack containing 40 pieces of guns.
The children reported the sighting to the barangay officials who then informed the police.
The other three sacks of guns were only discovered by cops who responded to the report. (FREEMAN)