By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Tuesday ordered the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) to revoke the gun licenses of those involved in indiscriminate firing during the holiday revelries.

“As I have warned at the onset of the holiday security operations, criminal liability for indiscriminate firing is further aggravated if the offender belongs to the uniformed services. The Chief, FEO is directed to consolidate the names of those who violated the law on firearms use and to cause the revocation of their licenses without delay, likewise to initiate the filing of appropriate criminal cases,’ Azurin said in a statement.

Col. Redrico Maranan, chief of the PNP Public Information Office, said three cases of indiscriminate firing in Iloilo, Manila and Quezon City were recorded from Dec. 31, 2022 to Jan. 1, 2023.

A member of the PNP Special Action Force was relieved from his post due to indiscriminate firing in Barangay Tuao North, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya last Dec. 30.

Maranan said aggressive law enforcement operations resulted in the arrest of three suspects for alleged indiscriminate firing during the New Year celebration — two civilians and a member of the Philippine Coast Guard.

Azurin said the recent celebration of the holiday season was generally peaceful throughout the country with no significant incidents reported from Dec. 31, 2022 to Jan. 1, 2023.

He added that the heightened alert status of territorial units and full operational readiness of police maneuver forces bolstered the anti-criminality, law enforcement, and public safety operations of the PNP during the New Year’s revelry resulting in zero casualties.

On internal security, Azurin said the active defense posture by the PNP and the military denied the communist terrorist groups the opportunity to stage offensive actions during the holiday season.

“There are no recorded hostilities perpetrated by the communist terrorist group on possible targets despite threats aired by some leaders of the local communist movement to step-up attacks against government installations in honor of the death of CPP [Communist Party of the Philippines] founding chair Jose Ma. Sison last December 16 and to drumbeat their 54th founding anniversary on December 26,” he said.

Azurin noted that the holiday season was marked by a series of desertion and surrender of active NPA leaders, members and supporters who chose to abandon the communist armed struggle and rejoin their families and become law-abiding citizens.

Aid to stranded passengers

Meanwhile, Azurin also instructed the PNP Aviation Security Group (AvSeGroup) to extend assistance to affected passengers who remain stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as civil aviation authorities work to restore normal flight operations.

This came following a glitch in the air traffic management system on New Year’s Day.

He said the Southern Police District, which has territorial jurisdiction over the NAIA complex, is also instructed to provide manpower support to the AvSeGroup and the Manila International Airport Authority management for vehicular and pedestrian traffic control.

“Security and order at the NAIA remain to be the primary concern in our law enforcement and public safety operations. Unattended luggages and influx of stranded passengers at the airport terminals are red flag situations that will prompt our security personnel to take appropriate action to ensure public safety,” he added. (PNA)