POLICE have arrested at least 24 people and seized 34 firearms during an operation dubbed “One Time Big Time” conducted over the weekend in Butuan City and the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur, all in southern Philippines.
Supt. Daniel Puesca, police spokesman in Caraga, said in a report that a police team, armed with 19 search warrants, swooped down Saturday at the homes of gun-ban violators in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte; Carrascal and Cantilan towns in Surigao del Sur; and the municipalities of Rosario, Esperanza, San Francisco, Bunawan and Talacogon – all in Agusan del Sur.
The Commission on Elections has implemented a nationwide gun ban starting from Jan. 10 in connection with the May 9 synchronized local and national elections.
In the same report he sent to the National Operation Center of the Philippine National Police, in Camp Crame, Puesca said the team from the Agusan del Sur Provincial Police Office seized 10 light weapons, 21 short arms, two air guns, and one grenade launcher.
He added that the light weapons included M16 and M14 rifles and US Carbine rifles while some of the short firearms consisted of caliber .357 revolvers, shotguns and .45-caliber pistols.
The latest raid was conducted Saturday in Butuan City’s Brgy. Ong at around 9:45 a.m., which resulted in the arrest of a certain Jaber Amerol and the seizure of a .45-caliber Colt pistol. ANTHONY VARGAS