12 gun-related incidents during gun ban in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 September) – Despite imposing a gun ban in August as a security measure for the Kadayawan festival, the city had recorded 12 gun-related incidents in contrast to only two incidents in the same period last year, Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday.

In a press briefing, Duterte said the police office has to explain the increase when the security forces including the military’s Task Force Davao were augmented.

“They need to re-assess and come up with an explanation,” she added.

She said that except for March and May the previous months this year had higher number of gun-related incidents compared to the same months last year. The month of April this year and in 2011 had the same number of incidents, she added.

Nine incidents were recorded in April 2011 and April 2012. For July, there were eight incidents this year and five last year.

Duterte said she expected the decrease in March because there was a gun ban, but asked why there was an increase in August when there was a gun ban too.

“Tinuod na pero kung wala ta mag-gun ban basig mas taas pa ana ang number of cases using firearms (That’s true. But if we did not impose gun ban, we might have had a higher number of cases using firearms.),” city police chief Ronald dela Rosa, reacting to the mayor’s statement, said Monday in a text message.

Police said the 12 incidents recorded last month included murder but only three cases have been filed so far as the rest of the incidents have no suspects yet.

All permits to carry firearms outside of one’s residence were suspended from August 1 to 31, as approved by the Philippine National Police upon the request of the city peace and order council.

Police set up checkpoints and conducted operations such as Oplan Sita, Oplan Bakal and mobile and beat patrols related to the gun ban, a report said.

Recently, residents in Bariquit Compound, Bugac, Ma-a complained that some security guards of Le Jardin de Villa Abrille who were carrying firearms during a fencing operation in the area.

Asked for comment, Duterte said if the security guards were in uniform and on-duty, they may carry firearms despite the gun ban.

Chief inspector Caezar Cabuhat, spokesperson of the city police office, said earlier in a report that only soldiers, police personnel and other law enforcers on duty and in uniform were exempted from the gun ban. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)