PNP orders Erwin Tulfo to surrender firearms

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered broadcaster Erwin Tulfo to surrender his firearms as his license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) lapsed in May.

“The PNP has ordered for the recall or temporary safekeeping of the firearms of  Erwin Tulfo inasmuch as the license to possess and own firearms of Mr Erwin Tulfo has already expired....They need to be surrendered for temporary safekeeping,” PNP spokesman Colonel Bernard Banac announced in a news briefing in Camp Crame on Friday, June 7.

Banac said the PNP transmitted the notice to Tulfo on Thursday, June 6.

Responding to questions, the PNP spokesman said the order only applied to Tulfo and not his other brothers as their respective LTOPFs were still valid.

Banac explained that even if one’s firearms are registered or licensed, these firearms have to be turned over to police for temporary safekeeping once the LTOFP had expired, since the individual was no longer authorized to keep them.

He said Tulfo can surrender his firearms to the nearest police station or better yet, to the Firearms and Explosives Office in Camp Crime.

When asked, Banac said Tulfo can apply for LTOFP renewal after the election gun ban, which began on January 13 this year and ends on June 12.

"If they would apply for a renewal, this would have to go through the normal process. They would undergo a drug test, neuropsychological test, including interview," he added. 

The PNP official declined to reveal how many firearms Tulfo kept.

Asked what would happen if Tulfo would refuse to heed the order, Banac said: "This can be subjected to a search warrant because remember that the firearms owners need to have a license to own and possess firearms. Without this, there is no authorization for an individual to keep firearms even if these are registered or licensed firearms."

The PNP issued the order a week after Tulfo drew flak for berating Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, a former Army chief, after the latter refused to grant him a live interview. In his radio show on May 31, Tulfo even threatened to slap the retired general if he ever saw him, and dunk his head into a toilet bowl.

Tulfo and his brothers had also lost their security details from the PNP and the Philippine Marines shortly after the incident. (READ: Why PNP pulled out Trillanes' police securityRappler.com