Robredo orders no-nonsense gun ban in Zamboanga City PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 17:45

Interior Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo yesterday ordered a no-nonsense implementation of the gun ban in Zamboanga as one of the proposed measures intended to thwart lawlessness specifically bomb explosions.

Secretary Robredo issued the order in a meeting with Mayor Celso Lobregat and security officials at City Hall, in the wake of the powerful explosion Sunday night at the Atilano Pension House in Canelar that killed 3 people and wounded 27 others.

“Dadagdagan po yong paghihigpit sa gun ban” (Efforts will be doubled in the implementation of the gun ban), the secretary told media men in a press briefing after the meeting yesterday morning. He stressed that all concerned agencies under the police and the military including local government officials who frequent Zamboanga City, will be properly informed about the reinforced gun ban implementation in the city.

First order of the day, he said, is the revocation of Mission Orders (MOs) and Memorandum Receipts (MRs) issued to assets and intelligence agents. With the renewed gun ban enforcement, all MOs and MRs are technically cancelled.

According to Secretary Robredo, the next step to be looked into will be the revocation of permits to carry firearms outside residences. “Sa ngayon ay yong mga inissue lang na MOs at MRs, kinancel na yon. Pangalawa hihigpitan na po yong enforcement ng gun ban, next kung hindi pa sapat, pati permit to carry outside residences will be cancelled.”

Security detail for local government officials from the neighbouring provinces and cities will also be limited to only 2 per official when in Zamboanga City. “Walang pinipili yong gun ban” (there will be no sacred cows in the implementation of the gun ban).

Secretary Robredo said the stricter monitoring on the proliferation of unlicensed firearms will be done through the establishment of mobile checkpoints and on the spot checkpoints in establishments including ports, highways and entry and exit points of the city.

While the main issue of his meeting with security officials in the city yesterday was about the Sunday bombing incident, the DILG secretary said the renewed implementation of the gun ban will definitely help prevent lawless elements from sneaking in improvised explosives devises into the city.

The Cabinet official noted that most if not all of the MOs and MRs issued are being used for unscrupulous activities. “Based on experience, we can better implement the gun ban if we cancel the MOs and the MRs”.

Robredo hinted that there are hundreds of MOs and MRs issued and that most of these are issued to assets and intelligence agents.

He asked for public understanding stating that with the stricter implementation of the gun ban, there will be inconveniences and hassles that will be encountered during travels and even when going inside establishments. “May mga perwiso pong mararamdaman, we ask for understanding but we need to do this, hindi po mag-iigting yong seguridad ng lugar kung walang dadalhing inconvenience sa mamamayan”. 

Lobregat said the implementation of the gun ban in the city started during the time of his mother, the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat and which he revived and continuously implement since he assumed office in 2004. 

Joint guidelines on the implementation of gun ban and explosives ban was signed by military and police and LGU officials from neighboring provinces and cities.

The mayor during the meeting personally asked Sec. Robredo to issue directives not only to the PNP but also to LGU officials in the region including the ARMM and
other areas regarding the renewed implementation of the gun ban.

On the other hand, Sec. Robredo said the gun ban was only one of the measures tackled during the meeting yesterday morning intended to help curb criminality as well as terrorism in the city.

The other measures discussed include additional equipment, additional forces and additional capability.

Robredo assured that the national government is determined in its resolve to help Zamboanga City get through the unfortunate incident. “Ang resolve ng pamahalaan na maibalik ang katahimikan sa Zamboanga ay nandiyan at hindi ho mag-aatubili na gamitin ang kanyang lakas para mapanatili yong katahimikan”.

Also present during the meeting yesterday in City Hall were Basilan Governor Jum Akbar, Isabela City Mayor Cherrilyn Akbar; Councilor Nonong Guingona, Gen. Trifonio Salazar (retired), director of the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency (NICA); Gen. Felicisimo Khu, Director, Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO); Gen. Elpidio de Asis- Regional Police Office-9 director; BGEN. Gerardo Layug, Deputy Commander, Westmincom; City Police OIC Director Col. Edwin de Ocampo; Task Force Zamboanga Commander Col. Buenaventura Pascual; PSSupt. Shepard Reyes of the PNP-ARMM; DILG Regional Director Paisal Abutazil; Mayor Talib Pawaki of Mohammad Ajul, Basilan and several others. — Sheila Covarrubias