By NITZ ARANCON
NORTHERN Mindanao police director Timoteo Pacleb yesterday inspected 156 firearms handed over for “safekeeping” by their owners at the Misamis Oriental police office in San Martin, Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental.
Brig. Gen. Pacleb said he considers the 156 firearms for safekeeping as a police accomplishment in line with its “Oplan Katok” campaign that started on New Year’s Day and which ended Sunday. The guns came from all over Misamis Oriental, including its component cities Gingoog and El Salvador.
Pacleb said it was also an accomplishment in line with the gun ban during the election pediod. This, he said, should lower the incidence of gun use in Misamis Oriental during the election period.
But Col. Rolando Destura, police director for Misamis Oriental, said the firearms were handed over to the police for safekeeping because the owners have yet to renew their licenses.
Destura said the guns were not seized but these would be returned to the owners the moment they comply with the requirements.
“As long as ilang ma-renew ang ilang firearms licenses, amo kini i-uli ngadto sa tag-iya niini. Pero since suspended man karon ang issuance sa firearms licenses kay election man, most probably, amo kining ma-uli sa mga tag-iya human sa election provided nga maka-present sila sa ilang renewed firearms licenses,” Destura said.
Misamis Oriental provincial elections officer Aleli Dayo Ramirez said the police’s “Oplan Katok” should give voters reason to participate in the May 13 political exercise. “Ayaw mog kahadlok sa pagboto sa election sa Mayo 13 kay gi-assure sa atong mga security officials nga magmalinawon ang atong election sa Misamis Oriental,” Ramirez said.