PNP still waiting for Erwin Tulfo to surrender guns

PNP still waiting for Erwin Tulfo to surrender guns
In this file photo from August 2018, Erwin Tulfo attends a Senate hearing into a Department of Tourism advertising contract with Ben Tulfo's Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. Their sister, Wanda Tulfo-Teo, was Tourism secretary when the contract was awarded.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — Radio personality Erwin Tulfo is free to come to the Philippine National Police and address his expired firearms license, the PNP's spokesperson said Tuesday.

Col. Bernard Banac said that the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association's ban on Tulfo attending its events does not include simple government transactions. Many top officials of the PNP, including Gen. Oscar Albayalde, are alumni of the PMA.

Banac said that Tulfo’s staff coordinated with the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Office on Monday for the renewal of the radio personality's license. He stressed Tulfo, who has a show on government radio, still needs to hand his guns over while the license is being processed.

"We are still waiting for their action to surrender the registered firearms," Banac said.

Last week, the PNP ordered the recall for temporary safekeeping of Tulfo's firearms,  saying his license to own and possess firearms had expired. "If the [license] is already expired, then there is no more authority or reason for an individual to keep firearms, to own firearms even if these firearms are still valid,” Banac said in a press conference last week.

Banac also explained that while the PMA alumni association banned Tulfo from its events, the radio personality can still enter the PNP premises.

“If it concerns aspects on government transactions, there would be no avoidance,” he said.

The board resolution was released Monday, according to media reports, two weeks after the acid-tongued broadcaster called Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista “useless” and threatened to slap the former commanding general of the Philippine Army and shove his head in a toilet.

The PNP has also pulled out police escorts provided to the Tulfos. Albayalde said this was part of regular assessments on people provided police security details but admitted that Tulfo's on-air tantrum was a factor. 

'Oplan Katok,' search warrant

The police spokesperson said that if Tulfo will not surrender the firearms, they would resort to “Oplan Katok (knock).” This means they would visit the residence or business address of the gun owner as a reminder to surrender the firearms.

They can also apply for a search warrant for Tulfo's guns if the broadcaster does not comply.

READ: PNP warns Erwin Tulfo: Surrender guns, or else

Banac said that they are giving Tulfo a chance to avoid those steps since his camp coordinated with their office.

He stressed that the renewal process for license to own firearms takes some time, and registered firearms should be submitted to the PNP for custody while the process is ongoing. — Kristine Joy Patag

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