By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Police Regional Office (PRO-6) is awaiting a copy of the official memorandum order that reportedly extended the gun amnesty program.

C/Supt. Isagani Cuevas, PRO-6 director, said the PNP higher command has not issued any word on the 30-day extension of the gun amnesty program extension which was announced in the national media Friday last week.

The amnesty, which expired October 30, gave gun owners with unlicensed firearms the chance to register their guns. Owners with expired licenses were also allowed to renewed their permits sans penalties.

The amnesty aims to reduce the number of illegal firearms in the country.

Cuevas said he will advise unregistered gun owners to prepare the needed documents in anticipation of the amnesty extension.

“If the extension takes effect, these gun owners will be prepared if they have their papers in order. For the meantime, we will observe status quo until we receive the memorandum order on the extension,” Cuevas said.

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa had said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo granted the request to extend the general firearms amnesty until November 30.

“This was in consideration of the numerous requests from the public and also [military and police commanders] in areas where typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng restricted their desire to avail of the firearms amnesty,” Verzosa said in a statement.

The police chief said that as of October 28, a total of 171,337 of the 1.1 million loose firearms have been accounted for since the police started an intensified campaign against loose firearms.

The government has also put up a reward system as part of the campaign against loose firearms.

“We have a reward system right now to account for loose firearms. Our proposal is to give P50,000 for recovery of three to five firearms. If there is increased recovery for stashes of firearms, we will evaluate the reward to be given,” Verzosa said.

He added that the Office of the President has allotted P5 million for the campaign against loose firearms.