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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE firearms amnesty program of the PNP has been extended until November 30.

Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) Director, S/Supt. Melvin Mongcal said the extension began Friday, November 6, following the issuance of the pertinent memorandum order.

The government’s Last and Final General Firearms Amnesty Program aims to recover 1,110,372 loose firearms in the country.

The amnesty took effect July 7, 2009 after President Gloria Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 817 and the extension became effective after Arroyo issued Executive Order 817-A dated October 30 that moved the deadline of the Final General Firearms Amnesty up to November 30.

The extended deadline was brought about by the request of some firearm owners for more time to process their applications, especially in areas badly hit by typhoons.

A total of 52,759 loose guns (unregistered guns and gun with expired permits) are circulating in the region but only 7,788 were accounted via the amnesty.

Mongcal said the ICPO is conducting information drive to let the public know about the amnesty extension.

“They should avail of this last opportunity to register or renew their gun licenses without the penalties and at a minimum registration fee of more or less P1,000,” Mongcal said, adding the ICPO will continue to confiscate illegal firearms as part of the PNP’s “Kontra Boga” drive.

EO 817-A also sought to synchronize the amnesty program to the impending passage of House Bill 6776 (Amendment to Firearms law) which would impose stiffer penalties against illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

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