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Cops tape guns for New Year’s Eve

Police officers hold up their firearms with the muzzles taped shut at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City yesterday. JONJON VICENCIO

MANILA, Philippines - As a measure to prevent the indiscriminate firing of guns by Metro Manila police officers on New Year’s Eve, National Capital Region Police Office director Leonardo Espina led the taping of the guns’ muzzles at the NCRPO headquarters in Taguig City yesterday.

Espina then placed his signature on the tape to make sure that these will not be removed or tampered with.

“After the New Year, we will inspect the guns to see if they had been fired indiscriminately. We will know because we conduct operations,” he said.

Espina reminded police officers that removing the seal or tampering with it carries a corresponding penalty. He said the guns could still be fired in line with official police duties after the muzzles have been taped.

Espina said police officers whose guns had been fired indiscriminately face dismissal from the police service as well as criminal charges.

As of yesterday afternoon, Espina said all of NCRPO’s five police districts have complied with the directive to have all service firearms sealed.

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Slain lawman remembered

Yesterday’s taping of gun muzzles at the headquarters of the Quezon City Police District (QPC) turned into a moment to remember a policeman who was killed last year during an operation against illegal firecrackers.

QCPD director Chief Superintendent Mario dela Vega took the opportunity to remember Police Officer 3 Bernard Quintero, who was killed in an ambush in Fairview in December 2011.

Quintero’s team went to the site where the illegal firecracker stall was operating but was immediately welcomed by gunshots. Another policeman was injured in the operation. Charges were filed against suspects in the attack.

Also yesterday, loads of illegal firecrackers confiscated all over the city were destroyed at the QCPD headquarters in Camp Karingal. QCPD public information head Chief Inspector Edgardo Osam said the confiscated items cost around P200,000.

These items were seized during separate operations since the start of the Christmas holidays, said QCPD deputy director for operations Senior Superintendent Neri Ilagan.– With Reinir Padua

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