Election gun ban on; highway checkpoints up

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/25 Sept) – The North Cotabato Provincial Police Office has established additional outposts in strategic areas along the highway as they start today the implementation of the Comelec gun ban in preparation for the Oct. 25 synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

The ban is from September 25 to November 10, 2010.

Outposts were set up along the Pikit-Aleosan highway; Kidapawan-Kabacan highway; and Makilala-M’lang-Tulunan road, which were identified by Police and the Comelec as areas of security concern.

Sr. Insp. Joyce Birrey, PNP Cotabato spokesperson, said highway inspections during gun ban implementations have yielded positive results.

The Security Mobile Company of the Cotabato Provincial PNP has also set up mobile checkpoints along the highway.

“Most of the apprehensions were done during those times.  What we’re doing right now is to strengthen such security measure because we saw it to be an effective tool to arrest criminals,” said Birrey.

Aside from gun ban violators, police operatives hope to apprehend during highway check traffic violators, suspected motorcycle thieves, and other wanted persons.

Since January this year, the province has recorded more than a hundred incidents of motorcycle thefts, most of which occurred in Kidapawan City and towns of Midsayap, Kabacan and M’lang.

“We will not be cowed by anybody.   We will implement the fair and square,” said Birrey.

The Comelec gun ban implementation ends on Nov 10.  (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)