MANILA -– The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday conducted a nationwide taping of gun muzzles as part of its campaign against indiscriminate firing and to lessen the number of stray bullet victims particularly during the Christmas celebration and in welcoming New Year.
The traditional gun muzzle taping was conducted from the PNP national headquarter in Camp Crame, Quezon City down to the regional, city and municipal police offices nationwide to assure the public that PNP personnel will not discharge their firearms during the holiday celebration.
Some 150,000 police personnel joined the gun muzzle taping nationwide.
PNP Officer in Charge (OIC), Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, said PNP personnel violating the directive against indiscriminate firing during the celebration of Christmas and New Year face charges that may lead to dismissal.
Espina said policemen who will discharge their firearms will undergo investigation and slapped with appropriate charges if found guilty.
“This traditional gun muzzle is a strong message to all gun owners, especially our policemen and soldiers who are the primary enforcers of the law, to refrain from firing their guns and help prevent casualties and injuries during the revelry of the yuletide,” Espina said.
Furthermore, Espina said that intensified intelligence efforts in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), other law enforcement agencies, and local government units will be conducted to identify probable violators.
Joint PNP and AFP teams will also be organized to conduct preventive patrols to arrest or apprehend uniformed personnel, members of law enforcement agencies and civilians involved in indiscriminate firing.
In line with this, the PNP is currently under heightened alert to ensure that the celebration of Christmas and New Year will be gun free.
The PNP clarified that the Regional Police Directors has the power to raise full alert status in their jurisdiction if they think it will be needed to maintain peace and order.
For his part, PNP Support Service Acting Director Chief Supt Albert Supapo said the nationwide firearms muzzling of the PNP could easily determine who will violate the order.
“The taping of muzzle is part of the PNP’s move to be free from the indiscriminate use of firearms among policemen,” Supapo said.
After the celebration of Christmas and New Year, Supapo said the PNP will inspect the firearm muzzles of every policemen to determine if they followed the PNP order.
According to the PNP memorandum, the taping of gun muzzles will be implemented until January 2.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, head of the PNP Public Information office, encouraged the public to discreetly take a picture or a cellphone video of any individual who is in the act of indiscriminately firing a gun so it could be used later as evidence.