Sinas vows to go after loose firearms
Rowena D. Capistrano (The Freeman) - November 22, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  In his visit to the Police Regional Office-7 yesterday, Philippine National Police General Debold Sinas vowed to strengthen the campaign against loose firearms and gun runners to reduce cases of violence, crimes and lawlessness.

PRO-7 data showed that since February 6, 2020, some 2,876 loose firearms have been seized and 638 persons have been arrested under the Oplan Katok, a program in which policemen visit gun owners to encourage them to renew the permits related to their guns.

All in all, the office has conducted 1,812 operations which resulted in the confiscation or surrender of 1,996 firearms with expired licenses.

Aside from this, the PRO-7 also flaunted its other successes to Sinas, including the arrest of 6,440 individuals in 4,386 all-out operations against illegal drugs. These operations also resulted in the deaths of 25 alleged drug suspects.

Meanwhile, 3,449 buy-busts have been conducted during the same period which resulted in the seizure of 112.56 kilograms of shabu with estimated value of P765 million. Marijuana weighing 1,150.48 kilos and worth over P138 million was also recovered.

From these operations, authorities were also able to confiscate 230 firearms from alleged drug personalities, 459 of whom considered high-value while 3,864 were street-level peddlers.

Sinas said that aside from the campaign against illegal drugs and firearms, one of his other “legacies” as former PRO-7 chief was the campaign against insurgency called Oplan Sauron.

He said he is confident that with dedication and commitment from the police leadership, Central Visayas will remain safe for the people and businessmen.

Molecular Lab

In another development, starting this week, law enforcers in Central Visayas and its neighboring regions can now have an immediate Covid-19 testing at the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) following the inauguration of its molecular laboratory on Saturday.

Police officials led by Sinas graced the blessing and inauguration of the Regional Health Service (RHS-7) molecular laboratory.

"Starting next week, meron na po tayong Covid-19 test for the PNP. We'll be working out because this will serve as an examination lab for PRO-7, PRO-6, and PRO-8,” Sinas said.

The police real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) molecular laboratory which Camp Crame had initiated is meant to prioritize the frontliners, particularly the police personnel.

However, PRO-7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro earlier said that they can also cater to the people of Cebu City if they need such services.

The facility cost P13 million, including its equipment. It has a billeting area for the personnel that will be manning the lab, four swabbing booths, and isolation rooms.

It is designed to accommodate and process around 300 to 400 swab samples per day.

The laboratory will be supervised by the Department of Health and is considered as a government-owned laboratory. -- Mae Fhel Gom-os, JMD

LOOSE FIREARMS
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