In line with the PNP’s drive against loose firearms, the Philippine National Police in the region seized some 67 high-powered and low powered firearms in the month of September 2012 alone. (File Photo by SN.com)

As the election fever becomes hotter in the country, the Philippine National Police alerted all units in the country to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections (HOPE) in the countryside.

In Eastern Visayas, the police arrested a total of 20 suspects for carrying deadly weapons without a license or Permit to Carry (PTC) and seized more or less 70 loose firearms.

In the month of September 2012 alone, a total 67 loose firearms were seized and neutralized the gun running syndicates in the region.

Earlier, the police reported that some Private Armed Groups (PAGs) in the region was already neutralized and leaders put behind bars.

Last Monday, October 1, a man believed to be a member of a gunrunning syndicate was caught selling unlicensed firearm during an entrapment operation in a hotel room in Sogod, Southern Leyte, the police reported.

In a report sent to Manila Channel, a certain Ricardo Mosquito, alias Karding, 48 years old, married and a native of St. Bernard, Southern Leyte was arrested last Monday in an entrapment set by the police.

Accordingly, the police said at around 7:30 in the morning of October 1, Mosquito offered to sell one .45 caliber pistol in the amount of P18,000.00  to a police operative. Immediately, an operation plan was conceptualized resulting in the arrest of the suspect at around 10:45AM inside Room No. 3 of Regis Hotel in Sogod Southern Leyte while in the act of selling one homemade .45 caliber pistol marked Caspian bearing serial number 331201 with one magazine assembly.

The suspect was arrested in violation of PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294. The suspect is now detained at the Southern Leyte CIDG office.

A complete background investigation is now being pushed if he is a member of a gun running syndicate or just operates individually.

“This accomplishment is in line with LOI Kontra Boga which directs the PNP to conduct aggressive police operations targeting unregistered and unlicensed firearms in the hands of threat groups, criminal elements and the civilian population, as well as firearms with expired or unrenewed licenses,” said Police Regional Office 8 Director Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria.

The Regional Director further disclosed that PRO8 aims to curb the proliferation of loose firearms especially with the upcoming elections next year.

To date, a total of 14 high-powered and 53 low-powered firearms were recovered by the police in the month of September this year.