PNP eyes better gun control strategies to curb killings

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 12) — The Philippine National Police is striving to implement better gun control strategies by cracking down on illegal manufacturers and dealers.

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Thursday said this is a priority especially now the election season is only months away and politically-motivated crimes abound.

In July alone, four local chief executives — Tanauan, Batangas Mayor Antonio Halili; Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote; Trece Martires, Cavite Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan; and Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi Vice Mayor Al-Rashid Mohammad Ali — were gunned down in broad daylight.

The PNP said illegal firearms were used in the killing of Bote.

Albayalde admitted they have a problem with unregistered firearms, which are normally used in committing crimes.

"Alam naman natin na talagang kapag ikaw ay criminal element with a criminal mind, hindi mo talaga i-rerehistro ang firearms mo. That's why we really have to strengthen our intelligence build-up dito on the possessors of loose firearms, and suspected members of guns-for-hire and suspected members of private armed groups and most wanted persons dito sa ating bansa," he said.

A firearm dealer group said their sales have been increasing by 10 percent annually with heightened interest to buy guns.

"For one, the situation of processing of the firearms. Making it more easier now. May konti din sa sports and safety also. Kasi hindi natin maiwasan na gusto ng tao na magkaroon ng firearms to protect their homes and families," AFAD President Jethro Dionisio said.

A group is pushing for the revision of gun ownership laws. The Gunless Society of the Philippines had said under the current setup, a Filipino can register practically an unlimited number of firearms, saying this allows for the proliferation of private armies.