How effective is the election gun ban?

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Jan 29 2013 09:36 PM | Updated as of Jan 30 2013 05:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Less than a month since the nationwide election gun ban was implemented, police said they have already arrested 323 violators and confiscated a total of 282 firearms.

But is this an indication of the gun ban’s effectiveness?

In less than a month, a spate of crime incidents involving firearms has disturbed the peace in Metro Manila, one of which claimed the life of Maconacon, Isabela Mayor Erlinda Domingo, who was killed in Quezon City.

Armed robbers also targeted a busy Mandaluyong mall and a Western Union branch in Parañaque City.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Generoso Cerbo believes despite these incidents, the gun ban still serves as deterrence against crimes.

“When we have a gun ban, the penalties na kakaharapin ng mga taong mahuhuli for illegal possession of firearms ay mas malaki,” Cerbo told ANC’s “Prime Time”.

Cerbo said police are looking at the gun ban at the  national level, not just crime incidents in Metro Manila.

“When it comes to election-related acts of violence, normally mas kinakatakutan natin ‘yan sa remote areas at sa provinces, pero if you tally the statistics, hindi kami magugulat kung mas lesser ang crimes dahil sa gun ban at checkpoints,” he said.

However, Cerbo admits that the PNP needs to make adjustments to further improve peace and order.

He said the PNP is aware that the public is concerned about the recent crimes being committed by bold criminals.

“We understand kung ganoon ang nararamdaman ng public. That’s why we have to study again, we have to review how we can improve ang ating mga security deployment para we can prevent or minimize these acts of violence as we approach the May 2013 elections,” said Cerbo.

He also assured the public that the PNP is doubling its efforts in preventing crimes.

“Given these developments, PNP General Purisima ordered ground commanders to double their efforts in the implementation of their respective anti-criminality operations and internal security operations,” Cerbo said.

“Mas ima-maximize ang police presence sa mga kalsada, patrols and checkpoints and be more aggressive in police intervention operations like service of arrest warrants to known bailiwicks of criminal elements,” he added.