PNP Firearms and Explosives Office Chief removed after 2 months

MANILA, Philippines – Roughly 2 months after his appointment to the office responsible for issuing licenses for firearms, Senior Superintendent Dennis Siervo has been relieved from his post.

The relief orders were issued Thursday, May 7, Rappler learned from sources privy to the movement.

Siervo, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985, was formally appointed to the post of Firearms and Explosive Office (FEO) officer-in-charge in late March, replacing Chief Superintendent Moro Lazo, who was appointed director of the PNP Special Action Force.

Prior to his post in the FEO, Siervo was Deputy Director for Administration of the Information Technology Management Service. With his relief, Siervo will now be reporting to the office of the PNP's Deputy Chief for Administration, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina.

Replacing Siervo in the FEO is Senior Superintendent Elmo Francis Sarona, a member of PMA Class of 1986.

The FEO is among the more challenging – if not controversial – posts in Camp Crame. It is the office that issues licenses to own firearms and registers the firearms all over the country.

Previous FEO chiefs have had to deal with corruption within and outside the office.

Just this week, Siervo unveiled plans to simplify the process to obtain licenses to own and posses firearms, following the orders of Espina, who is also PNP officer-in-charge.

The police colonel also revealed to media his plans to fully digitize and bring licenses and firearms registration online. Those plans were formally presented to the Civil Security Group, the office that oversees the FEO, on Wednesday, May 6.

The FEO made headlines in 2014 after gun owners raised alarm over the "centralization" of its services and its use of the courier company Werfast to deliver approved licenses.

The deal between Werfast and the FEO eventually led to the filing of cases and issuance of preventive suspensions against its former heads before the Ombudsman.

Among those preventively suspended for 6 months over the Werfast deal include former PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima. –