SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija – The two-day License To Own and Possess Firearm (LTOPF) caravan spearheaded by Mayor Arvin C. Salonga to boost the government’s drive against loose firearms was a “tremendous success,” authorities said yesterday.
Police Major Azalea M. Rabena, chief of the firearms and explosives office of the Regional Security Unit in Camp Olivas, Pampanga based her assessment on the big number of those who availed of the services compared to the previous caravans that were conducted.
“Matagumpay ang ginanap na LTOPF caravan dito sa bayan ng San Antonio dahil na rin sa ipinakitang inisyatibo ng pamahalaang lokal sa pamamagitan ni Mayor Arvin Salonga na tulungan ang kanyang mga constituents, partikular ang mga gun owners na makapag-avail ng ating serbisyo nang hindi na kailangan pang dumayo sa Camp Olivas sa Pampanga at sa Kampo Crame sa QC,” Rabena told People’s Tonight in an interview.
Municipal budget officer Armando Cruz said this year’s holding of the LTOPF caravan was a “big hit,” noting the large number of gun holder-participants who came compared to the previous caravans the local government had similarly spearheaded in the previous years.
It was learned that the total number of gun holders who participated and availed of the LTOPF services reached 144 with 102 checking in on January 14 and another 42 on the next day. A big majority of them came from this town while the others were from the cities of Cabanatuan and Gapan and the towns of Jaen and San Isidro.
“Ipinapakita nito na naging epektibo ang programa na inilunsad ni Mayor Salonga kaagapay ang kapulisan kontra sa loose firearms,” said Rabena.
Prior to the gun caravan, Rabena also bared that records at the FEO showed there were about 700 unregistered, expired gun licenses or “loose firearms” monitored in this town.
But due to the joint aggressive efforts of the local police under Major Rammel Ebarle and the municipal government, the figure drastically went down to about 100 cases through the conduct of Oplan Katok operations where authorities went house-to-house knocking on the doors of gun holders to advise them of their obligation about firearms registration and responsible ownership.
Rabena said the big chunk of gun-holders came from this town with at least 100 of those with unrenewed guns making their presence felt after registering on the first day of the LTOPF caravan on Thursday.
“Iyung isandaan na taga-San Antonio, sila ang pumunta at nagparehistro nitong Thursday. Good indication ito na ang ating kampanya laban sa loose firearms ay very successful,” Rabena added.
The police major also hopes that a second round of LTOPF caravan will again be conducted next year prior to the elections and the implementation of the gun ban in the country.