Officials with death threats should have 2 guns at the most—Biazon
MANILA, Philippines—Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon called on Tuesday for stricter gun control law after authorities learned that Presidential Political Adviser Ronald Llamas acquired five high-powered firearms to protect himself from death threats.
Biazon, a former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said that an individual should only be allowed one short and one long firearm at the most to defend his life.
“You have only two hands anyway so why the need for more than two firearms? You cannot possibly fire more than two weapons at a time,” he said.
Biazon is the author of House Bill No. 12 entitled “An Act Providing for Stiffer Penalties for Crimes Relating to Firearms and Light Weapons.”
The Constitution provides for the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare of the people.
Owning a firearm, however, is only a privilege and not a right as guns are subject to the control of the state, according to Biazon.
Reports said that an AK-47 was found inside Llamas’ Mitsubishi vehicle, which was used by his two close-in security staff when it figured in a road accident on Oct. 7 while the secretary was in Switzerland. Llamas would later admit he had four other high-powered firearms, which he acquired for his protection after he received several death threats.
He said that national government officials and their families facing threats to their lives and properties could request for the assignment of security personnel from authorized government agencies like the Philippine National Police or the AFP.
Chief Supt. George Regis, director of the Quezon City Police District, said that the AK-47 was taken out of the Montero before police investigators arrived at the scene after the accident.
Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez, a former commander in the Navy, said in a press conference that the PNP should be allowed to thoroughly investigate the case “without obstruction.”
“I am not privy to any threats but I think he (Llamas) is right in saying that the PNP should be allowed to investigate without any impediment, without any intervention. Let them do their work and investigate,” Golez said.
An AK-47 is an old weapon just like an M-16, according to Golez.
Golez accepts Llamas’ claims of a high level of risk as a political adviser to President Aquino, in the same way that a cashier or disbursing officer is facing a risk much higher than that of an ordinary individual.
“It all depends on your circumstance. It’s your choice. I noticed in the past some would surround themselves with plenty of security. Others did not want any. So it depends on your propensity,” he said.
Golez was one of the lawmakers who vigorously pursued the conviction of movie actor Robin Padilla during the term of President Fidel Ramos for possession of plenty of illegal firearms.
Biazon asked if Llamas’ staff members were covered with appropriate authorization and appropriation to possess and carry those firearms in the absence of their boss.
He took note of the alarming rise in the incidence of crimes with the use of loose firearms over the years.
He said that PNP figures showed at least one million loose firearms in the country, with 5,999 loose firerams used in 5,752 crime incidents.
“Admittedly, firearms in the hands of irresponsible citizens have brought about insecurity, loss of human lives and damage to property that affect the valuable resources of the country,” Biazon stressed.
He stressed the need to strictly regulate and continually monitor the unlawful possession, manufacture, dealing in, acquisition or disposition of firearms, ammunition and instruments used in the manufacture of firearms and ammunition.
“We need to provide stiffer penalties for the violation of the same in order to more effectively deter the commission of crimes with the use of firearms,” he added.
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