Slays fire up debate on gun ban


Proposals for a total gun ban are now being studied by the President Aquino, a gun enthusiast, his deputy spokesperson, Abigail Valte, said on radio on Sunday. FILE PHOTO

To curb gun crimes, President Aquino should cancel all permits to carry firearms and stop issuing new ones until Congress can enact stricter gun controls, the Gunless Society said Sunday.

But Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop, a former police official, opposed gun prohibition, saying responsible citizens must not be deprived of their right to arm themselves for protection, given the police’s inability to protect all the country’s citizens.

Acop disagrees with proposals for a total gun ban, which came after the death of 7-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella, who was hit by celebratory gunfire in Caloocan City on New Year’s Eve, and the shooting rampage of Ronald Bae in Kawit town, Cavite province, on Friday, leaving eight people, including two children, dead and 12 others wounded.

Gunless Society founder Nandy Pacheco said it was about time the government stopped debating whether to adopt a total gun ban, and took concrete steps by canceling all permits to carry.

“The issue has been debated for more than 20 years. This dilly-dallying is a waste of time,” Pacheco said in a phone interview.

“The President should cancel all permits to carry, and stop their issuance in view of what’s happening,” Pacheco said.

The Roman Catholic Church has joined calls for stricter gun controls and supported proposals for a total ban on firearms.

Pacheco, who has waged a campaign for a total gun ban for more than 20 years, said the cancellation of permits to carry was the next best thing to a total prohibition.


Prevent killings

“What we’re trying to do is prevent killings of individuals. The truth about gun is it’s not made to prolong life but to kill. The government must be hard on guns,” he said.

Permits to carry should be canceled until a total gun ban is enacted, Pacheco said.

But eventually President Aquino has to certify as urgent gun-control measures in the House of Representatives, mainly the proposed Citizen’s Protection Act of 2010 filed by prolife groups and signed by 86 Catholic bishops, and its counterpart measure in the Senate, Pacheco said.

“We’re appealing to him; we’re begging him for heaven’s sake, the time for action has come,” Pacheco said.

“The President should consolidate these [bills] into one, and certify it as urgent,” he said.

Presidential study

Proposals for a total gun ban are now being studied by the President, a gun enthusiast, his deputy spokesperson, Abigail Valte, said on radio on Sunday.

But Acop, vice chairman of the House committee on public order and safety, said in an interview with the Inquirer that he preferred stricter firearm regulations fully enforced.

Acop said that, having served on the police force, he knew the capabilities and limitations of the Philippine National Police.

Law enforcers have too much tasks to do and they cannot be everywhere at the same time so the citizens must be given the chance to defend themselves by being allowed firearms, Acop said.

“That’s why I don’t agree with the total gun ban. We must take into consideration the capabilities of law enforcement agencies to protect the life and property of every Filipino,” he said.

“It would be good if [we could put] a policeman in every nook and corner [of the country]. Unless we reach this situation, I can’t agree [to a total ban].”

The PNP, he said, has yet to achieve the ideal ratio of one policeman to every 500 citizens.

Aside from enforcing the law, he said, the police is also involved in the regulatory job of other governmental agencies.

Bae’s arsenal

Bae, the Cavite killer, owned an AK-47 assault rifle, an M-16 rifle rebuilt by Elisco, and a Sig Sauer .45 cal. pistol, with licenses issued by the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office.

The licenses were issued during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which declared an amnesty for all holders of loose firearms, according to Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, FEO chief.

“It appears that Bae was able to register his firearms with no questions asked,” Petrasanta said.

He said the 1911 .45 cal. pistol Bae used in his shooting rampage was unlicensed. With reports from Leila B. Salaverria and Marlon Ramos

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  • mari suli

    Parang hindi gun ban ang solution dahil iyong mga loose firearms na walang lisensya hindi iyon maapektuhan ng ban dati na nga iyang ban. Dapat ang gawin diyan estriktohin ang pagpapatupad ng licensing,law enforcement at monitoring.Tsagilid kasi tayo kong may gun ban tapos iyong mga kriminal mayroon pang gun at hindi mahuli huli.

  • Taiko_Kauna

    “Kung may mga baril sana ang mga biktima palagay ko hindi ganon ka dami ang masawi dahil mapatay din agad ang salarin”. How can you, gun ban advocates refute that logic? Halimbawa, itak, palakol, machete o kampilan ang ginagamit sa pag “amok ” Ipagbabawal na rin ba ito?

  • EREC

    I have no one but I planning to get one, as OFW i have much more reason to protect my self and my family for this days. I learned a days ago that my wife was harassed by our drunk neigbor in our store, sad to hear that while Im here in abroad. We must not generalized because gun will not and will never killed human unless it will not be fired. So the person having a gun must be under high decipline. The problem in our country there are guns that not licensed  even a securityguard they are bringing home their gun which is very wrong. Also, we have a lot of improvised guns in our country. Most of having licensed gun are those well decipline in our society that intended only for family, property protection and security.

  • speaksoftlylove

    On the contrary, instead of withdrawing those permits, let the government arm all adult filipinos. Makes anybody think twice before squeezing the trigger, correct? Fruthermore. the yellowtribe always profess human development and modernization to rationalize their follies. Very well then let’s give everybody an opportunity to modernize himself by the use of modern gun technology.

  • EREC

    Police must improve their protocol in apprehension for those having licensed gun and for those unlicensed. For example licensed gun owner once authority apprehend in them thy must follow protocol (like-hands up) else you will be immediate shoot by the authorities. The difference of person having unlicensed gun they will immediately fire & run….. so the authorities has full of right to make decession to shoot even the suspect will not fire as long as he has gun….to avoid more victim by this unlicensed gun holder.

  • speaksoftlylove

    And of course, should everybody kill each other with their government issued guns then the RH bill would be irrelevant. Population explosion would be instantly solved. Arming the population is a win-win solution, what do you think?

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