More execs, barangay chiefs oppose gun ban in Iloilo
ILOILO CITY—Vice mayors and barangay captains in Iloilo have joined the opposition against a controversial gun ban in eight towns of the province.
In separate resolutions, the provincial chapters of the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines (VMLP) and the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas (LNB) expressed support for the Iloilo Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and the provincial chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) in opposing the selective gun ban.
The local officials urged Philippine National Police chief Director General Raul Bacalzo to recall the suspension of the permits to transport and carry firearms outside of residence (PTCFORs) in the towns of Ajuy, Balasan, Batad, Carles, Concepcion, Estancia, San Dionisio and Sara.
All the towns are in the province’s fifth congressional district. The district’s three other towns—Barotac Viejo, Lemery and San Rafael—are exempted from the gun ban.
The PNP earlier said the ban, which took effect on July 5 and end on Jan. 15 next year, was imposed to curb rising criminality and the proliferation of loose firearms in the area.
But the PPOC and local officials have refuted the PNP, noting a decline in criminality in the district. They cited a report of the Iloilo provincial police that the crime volume in the fifth district dropped by 26 percent from January to June compared to the same period last year.
For the same period, crime volume for the entire province decreased by 48 percent.
The VMLP said in its resolution that the PNP failed to conduct “vital” public consultation or inquiry before the suspension of the PTCFOR was implemented.
“The act of the PNP violates the equal protection and due process clause of the 1987 Constitution and the same is unfair and unreasonable to those who need protection outside their residences, including government officials, and especially businessmen whose lives maybe threatened by possible targets of robbery and kidnapping,” the VMLP resolution said.
Gov. Arthur Defensor has also asked Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to order the lifting of the gun ban.
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