We, the MASSES, will support the tighter gun-carry policy and new effective checkpoint system.
CONTAMINATION IN THE PROGUN PHILIPPINES INC
Responsible gun owners follow and advocate gun laws, in their capacity as individuals and in their strength as gun clubs. When gun clubs are puppeteered by gun dealers, they become exploited to resist existing gun laws, they become tolerant to violations of gun permit processes, and they unknowingly become gun-advertising medium.
PROGUN Philippines Inc. is contaminated -- unfit to represent the responsible gun owners. They better weed out their members who are cyberbullies, anti-government, anti-law, anti-order, anti-police, anti-gun-ban, anti-rules. Pinagbigyan na nga na magka-lisensya ang mga baril for household use, eh gusto pang dalhin sa kalye ang mga baril para maging siga sa kalye. Tapos, ina-advocate pa nila na okay lang mag-amass ng kahit napakaraming baril at bala, parang mga Ampats etong mga contaminants na eto. Tapos, sasabihin ninyong representative kayo naming mga responsible and peaceful gun owners? Ang kakapal ng mukha ng mga contaminants na eto!
Saan ba makikita etong mga contaminants na eto? Tingnan nyo etong FB page na eto. Basahin nyo ang content ng mga comments and discussions nila, nakakakilabot parang mga terrorista etong mga cyberbullies na eto. The page of PROGUN Philippines Inc in Facebook is at http://www.facebook.com/pages/PROGUN-PHILIPPINES/113303732048357
PROGUN Philippines, Inc. have LOST their credence to lead that organization of gun owners because their current leaders tolerated the deployment of an organized/systematic cyberbullying tactics in this discussion on National Firearm Policies. Because their current organization's leaders have been found to be corporately irresponsible, I strongly support the idea that their organization should remain its status to never be allowed to take the podium during Gun Summits and Legislative Hearings. However, they may still submit their position papers.
CORPORATE IRRESPONSIBILITY OF PROGUN PHILIPPINES INC
Look at this IRRESPONSIBLE "lessons shared" by the PROGUN Philippines Inc. under the guise of academic discussion (Reference: PROGUN Philippines FB group acct):
1. A penalty of 1-3 years imprisonment is subject to PROBATION, i.e., no jail time. (you will just be released and be required to report to a probation officer for a certain period). So it follows that what the Supreme Court ruled was that ANYONE CAUGHT WITH A FIREARM WHETHER LICENSED OR NOT DURING THE COMELEC ELECTION GUN BAN WILL NEVER GO TO JAIL! :-))
2. If you want to violate the election gun ban It pays to carry an UNLICENSED FIREARM. Whether you are caught carrying an unlicensed firearm or licensed firearm during election peiod, the penalty IS THE SAME 1-3 years imprisonment, no jail time.
3. It pays to carry LARGER CALIBER WEAPONS during election gun ban period. Whether you are caught carrying a .22 pen gun or a 90mm bazooka, THE PENALTY IS THE SAME.
POSITION PAPER OF PROGUN PHILIPPINES INC
PROGUN, INC. is a non-profit corporation which is duly registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission. Mission: To defend and lobby for the shooting sports, and the right to keep and bear arms in the Philippines.
Below is the recent Position Paper of PROGUN Philippines, Inc. and I have made some comments. If you notice, they argue closely to the tune the gun being carried by the victim is the best self-defense ready-weapon againts assasination. The PROGUN did not cite the many assassination victims who are armed to the teeth. PROGUN solution to gun-aided crime is to give each citizen the right to carry firearm. If PROGUN Inc succeeds, the gun-runners will be happy, and everyone will be carrying a gun including balot vendors whose work is most dangerous, walking through the dark alleys at night.
PEACEFUL RESPONSIBLE OWNERS OF GUNS (PROGUN)
AND UNITED AIRSOFT ALLIANCE (UAA)
PNP Firearms Summit 18-19 May 2009
Camp Crame, Quezon City
PROGUN opposes a Total Gun Ban
A total gun ban is unrealistic and not feasible within the Philippines. While other countries and organizations such as IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms) may advocate such a ban, the conditions prevailing in other countries as well as the Western European countries where IANSA has its base, are different from the Philippines.
[JRP Comment: Total gun ban is REAL and it is what we are ENJOYING now.]
Unlike the Western countries, the Philippines suffers from rampant crime in the form of robberies and thefts, kidnapping, drug violence, terrorism in the South, Communist insurgency, and political and profession related killings. In spite of the best efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces (AFP), these crimes have not been curbed or lessened over the years. If anything, the crime situation in the country has gotten worse.
[JRP Comment: I didn't know that these crimes are non-existent in Western Countries (sarcastically). Just go to the PNP and AFP website, you will see statistics that our law enforcement institutions have done good in fighting these crimes to its curb.]
The mandate of the PNP is to preserve general state of peace and order. The PNP are not mandated to protect individual citizens on a 24 hour basis, seven days a week. Stated otherwise, the police cannot be present everywhere and always to protect its citizens. For this reason, the more affluent Filipinos hire private security guards for their homes and subdivisions or personal bodyguards for the even wealthier. However, for the ordinary citizens who are not as moneyed, a total gun ban would leave them totally defenseless against criminal elements.
[JRP Comment: ProGun Philippines, Inc, as a corporation is irresponsibly spreading misinformation to the public that the PNP is not mandated to protect individual citizens on a 24 hour basis, seven days a week. This corporation is provoking chaos, inducing a terrorized feeling among the ordinary citizens, and making them hate the gun control programs of the government.]
There are insufficient number of police to protect the citizenry
On a per capita basis, there are clearly insufficient number of police with which to provide protection for the entire citizenry. Moreover, due to lack of financial resources, our police are under-equipped and lack the crime fighting tools that they ought to have in their inventory such as police cars, firearms, non-lethal weapons, communications equipment, and precinct jails and facilities.
Police work is reactive rather than proactive. This means that police often fail to be present at the scene of the crime to prevent the crime from happening; rather the police arrive after the crime has been committed for investigation and pursuit of the criminal. This is small consolation for the families of victims who have already been murdered, assaulted, kidnapped or raped. Moreover, a large number of crimes are not even solved. Consider the following unsolved murder victims:
· Judges Henrick Gingoyon (RTC-Pasay) and Voltaire Rosales (RTC-Tanauan), who were shot dead in relation with cases that they were handling.
· Justice Valerio of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) shot dead in front of his home upon arrival at night.
[JRP Comment: This is an assassination case. Please read Gun-Carry Policy for Gun-Aided Assassinations.]
· Armscor Vice president Danny De La Paz who was shot dead on the way home from the plant by hired gunmen. De la Paz, who was an accomplished competitive shooter, was unable to carry his firearm at that time due to the COMELEC gun ban.
[JRP Comment: This is an assassination case. Please read Gun-Carry Policy for Gun-Aided Assassinations.]
· The numerous journalists and broadcasters who have been shot dead on occasion of their handling of sensational issues.
[JRP Comment: This is an assassination case. Please read Gun-Carry Policy for Gun-Aided Assassinations.]
This deficiency is recognized by civil society. Consequently, the modern concept of crime prevention is the citizens acting in conjunction with the police in community crime prevention. Thus, barangay tanods and police, neighborhood watches, and private security guards supplement the police in their crime prevention work. This also should include a responsible armed citizen base, who may bear their firearms in protection of themselves, their families and their homes, until such time as the police may arrive. These are recent actual cases that prove that the prudent use of firearms in the hands of a competent citizen, saves lives:
· In the recent case of Sonny Parsons, in Marikina City, he used a lawfully licensed pistol to protect himself and his family against drug crazed criminals who entered his house and attempted to rob his family and rape his daughter. The shooting was held to be justified in the Parsons case, by the Marikina City Prosecutor’s Office.
· Prosecutor Jonathan Lledo of the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office used a concealed Glock 26 to restrain an amok inmate who got loose in open court and wield a concealed ice pick. The inmate who attempted to kill Judge Rosanna Fe Maglaya of RTC-Qc Branch 85, and who took a court steonographer as hostage, as subdued by prosecutor Lledo and the BJMP guards who arrived later.
[JRP Comment: This is an Workplace Attack case. We are already liberal in allowing high-risk professionals and businessmen to own and possess registered guns in their office for their business protection.]
· Champion Shooter Grace Tan was acquitted of homicide when she shot a criminal whom she caught in the act of trying to steal her car. Tan, who had surprised the criminal, was attacked her judicious response immediately neutralized the criminal without any further incident.
[JRP Comment: Gun owners are trained to use the gun only for self-defense. Even if she had a gun, if she is not cornered, she should have avoided confrontation and called the police.]
The right to life and self-defense is a natural, human right
The right of citizens to life, liberty and property is enshrined in our Constitution. This means that each and every Filipino has a fundamental and inalienable right to maintain and protect his own life and that of his family, and others, if necessary. The State cannot enact legislation which would curtail or prevent the right of its citizens to life or defense thereof, otherwise such laws or rules would be unconstitutional. Thus Article II Section 5 of the Constitution provides:
“Sec. 5. The maintenance of peace and order, and the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all people of the blessings of democracy.”
Article II Section 1 of our Constitution, similarly provides that:
“Sec. 1 No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, not shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”
The right to life, and the defense of the right to life, is a human right. The right to life is in fact the most basic right from which all other human rights flow. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” Moreover, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:
“Every Human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of life.”
Use of firearms in Self-Defense is supported by the court rulings
Statutory law likewise recognizes the right to self defense and the corresponding use of firearms to accomplish the purpose of defense of life of law abiding citizens. Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code specifically authorizes self-defense as an exempting circumstance, and the “reasonable means employed to prevent or repel” such unlawful aggression. Thus, a defender who employs force to repel unlawful aggression does not incur any criminal liability when he uses “reasonable means to prevent or repel”. The same article likewise applies to any one who acts not only in defense of his person, but also his spouse, ascendants, descendants, or legitimate, natural or adopted brothers or sisters, or his relatives by affinity in the same degrees and those by consanguinity within the fourth civil degree, or even a stranger.
“Reasonable means necessary to prevent or repel” an unlawful aggression necessarily includes the right to use a firearm in self-defense. This has been proven in a long line of Supreme Court cases. No less than a former President and Chief Justice of the Philippines, Jose P. Laurel, was absolved by the Supreme Court for killing a man with a fan knife, in a fiesta fight when his life was threatened. (People vs. Jose P. Laurel). Some examples of the courts upholding the use of firearms as reasonable means for self-defense are:
· People vs. Lara, 48 Phil 153 – Use of a pistol to kill an attacker who was much larger than the defender and who threatened the life of the defender, was held to be reasonable means and justified.
· People vs. Benito 70 OG. 5540 – Use of a rifle to kill a pistol-armed attacker was held to be justifiable self-defense.
· People vs. Caina – A police officer who used his firearm to shoot and kill a knife wielding assailant was held to be reasonable and justifiable.
· People vs. So- “When a lawless person attacks on the streets or in the victim’s home, he assumes the risk of losing his life from the act of self-defense by the firearm of his victim; otherwise law abiding citizens will be left at the mercy of lawless elements. Hence, the requisite of reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel unlawful aggression should, in these times of danger be interpreted liberally in favor of the law abiding citizens.”
Thus, while the Constitution or the law does not explicitly state the word “firearm”, the Supreme Court rulings are clear that Firearms are indeed a matter of right which can be used by law abiding citizens in self-defense scenarios. Otherwise, were it not so, the concept of self-defense as against a gun or knife wielding criminal who attacks a law abiding citizen, would be meaningless. Hence, even if the Philippines does not have an explicit “2nd amendment” right as in the U.S., these criminal rulings and statutes clearly prove that Philippine citizens have a right to lawful self-defense, and to wield the tools necessary to implement their defense.
Owners of Legitimate, Licensed Firearms are not criminals
It should be stressed that legitimate, licensed firearms owners are not criminals. The statistics of the PNP-Firearms and Explosives Unit indicate that of all crimes involving the use of firearms, less than 1% are committed by people using licensed firearms. The vast majority, or 99%, of crimes involving firearms are committed using unlicensed firearms.
Thus, gun bans of licensed firearms are never effective in preventing crime because precisely, criminals do not use licensed firearms. Whether there is a gun ban or not, criminals will still be able to obtain and use illegal firearms.
[JRP Comment: Gun ban is for outdoors carry only, there is no gun ban for ownership. It will NOT matter for bank robbers if they use a registered firearm or not. They use registered cars to get away. Maybe you are trying to say that kidnappers are people who have registered guns too that they want to carry everyday, but will not use their registered firearm on the day they commit the crime for reason that ballistic study might lead to their identity. Kidnappers are dichotomous, they have registered firearms, but they also have loose/unlicensed firearms that they bought from the blackmarket that has never been identified by PNP ballistics.
Perpetrators of crimes are sometimes identified and sometimes it's John/Jane Doe. Gun-aided crimes are committed by people who have access to guns. The five kinds of persons who commit gun-aided crimes are police, military, private armies, hired criminals, licensed gun holders, unlicensed gun holders, accidental gun-holders, or maybe PROGUN-runners who wants to create a gun-aided crime for the sole purpose of using it as publicity to lift the gun ban. Who knows?
Your argument will not stand if you will say that owners of licensed guns are not susceptible to commiting gun-aided crimes. Gun registration will not make the gun less of a weapon.]
The problem of criminal use of illegal firearms is a crime problem. Stricter gun licensing or gun bans are not the solution. When a sensational crime is committed with the use of a firearm, it is illogical to enforce a gun ban on law abiding citizens who are not the perpetrators of such crime. Precisely, the response of law enforcement should be to catch the criminals, not to punish law abiding citizens.
Total Gun ban is proven to be a failure in real life
Historically, total gun bans have been proven to be failures in societies where such policy is implemented. Cities where the highest crime and terrorism exists, are in fact cities with total gun bans. Some examples of localities wherein there are total gun bans and yet have the highest crime rates are Detroit, Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and Belfast Northern Ireland. In the Philippines during the total gun ban imposed by martial law, firearms were readily available and were sold and transferred openly with impunity, most especially among criminals. There was no drop in crime rate then.
Inversely, in a number of countries wherein there is an open policy on firearms, crime rates are practically zero. For example in Switzerland and Israel, every male above 18 years is required by law to possess a military assault rifle in his home. And yet, in these countries the crime rate, particularly, from shootings, is practically zero. Clearly there is no direct correlation between Gun bans and crime prevention.
In the Philippines, the COMELEC total gun ban has failed to prevent the hundreds of people from getting shot and killed every election period thru election related violence. The vast majority, if not all, of these election related shootings are committed not by responsible licensed gun owners, but by professional gunmen or hired goons wielding unlicensed firearms. Ironically, when election period is over and the COMELEC gun ban is lifted, the crime and shooting rate goes down significantly. There is thus no direct correlation between the COMELEC gun ban and a decrease in firearms involved crimes, in fact the inverse is true. PROGUN does not therefore support the COMELEC Gun Ban.
Improvement of Firearms Licensing and Registration
The right to possess a firearms would become illusory, if the cost for obtaining a license and the requirement therefore would be so prohibitive that no one could possibly comply with, or pay the fees. PROGUN has always recommended and requested for:
· Lower firearms license fees and permit to carry fees. The cost of the fees must also consider the costs of obtaining all requirements for licensing, which as of this writing amounts to approximately P6900 for a 4 year license. We consider this prohibitively expensive. It also discourages otherwise lawful middle class citizens from obtaining licenses for their guns and registering their firearms.
[JRP Comment: I am studying the idea of (Policy 1) Free One-time Ownership Registration for Firearms.]
· Less red tape for licensing and registration- The more requirements that are required for a firearms license, the more red tape and potential corruption there is. If there are too many requirements for a gun license application, gun owners are forced to resort to “fixers” who offer “non-appearances” for their requirements. This is bad for the PNP since unqualified gun owners could obtain licenses, and bad also for qualified gun owners to have to resort to such dubious services from “fixers”, and pay more.
[JRP Comment: Requirements are requirements. Requirements should not be treated as Red Tape. Fixing and Non-appearances that are facilitated in connivance between the applicant, gun dealer, and licensing adjudicator has to be stopped by discontinuing the authority of gun dealers to facilitate licensing paperwork.]
· Implement on-line registration thru the internet and decentralize the licensing and registration process in favor of the FESAGS and regional commands.
[JRP Comment: Computerization is a good idea. If ever licensing and registration is decentralized, a very tight national auditing procedure must be put in place.]
To make it easier for both the PNP and gun owners to obtain licenses and register their firearms, PROGUN suggests the following:
· License the individual, not the firearm – The individual, and not the firearm, should be tested, qualified, and licensed. A gun owner should not have to go through the licensing process (with all the requirements) over and over again for every firearm he purchases. This is not only unnecessarily repetitive and time consuming, it adds to the red tape. A better solution would be to require the individual firearm owner to apply for and obtain a license which is renewable every four years (like a drivers license). The license holder may use his license for any and all purchases of firearms. But each firearm purchased will have a one-time registration fee. A limit on the number of firearms purchased by a single individual may be imposed such as 10 firearms person.
[JRP Comment: I am also studying the idea of (Policy 2) a Legislation that makes the gun-owner criminally liable if a gun registered under his/her name is used in a commission of a crime, (Policy 3) a Legislation that imposes double penalty without possibility of parole to gun-aided crimes wherein the gun used is unregistered, (Policy 4) Spouse Conformity and Neighborhood Approval will be required before an individual will be given a permit to possess a gun in his residence, and (Policy 5) controllong firearm amassment by allowing only one registered firearm at home, the rest of the personal collection must be kept in a depository in the Police Camp.]
· Lower fees and liberalization of Permit-to-Carry Outside of Residence. This is the heart of firearms ownership inasmuch as a firearm to be truly effective as a crime prevention instrument must be carried at all times, because crime strikes anywhere, especially when you least expect it. We also recommend that licensed gun owners be allowed to keep licensed guns in their cars even without PTCFOR.
[JRP Comment: So you want peace and order by allowing ALL citizens to carry firearm in the streets. Like a wild wild west, anarchy, terror, everyone carries a gun, huh?]
· No restriction as to caliber, mechanism and action type, so long as the weapons are classified as Small Arms.
· 60 day grace period for renewal upon expiration of firearm license.
Special categories of Firearms licenses and permits
PROGUN recognizes the following special categories of firearms holders, which should have a separate and distinct treatment, and fee, from other license holders, to wit:
· Collectors of relics - Recognizing that some firearms owners are collectors of large quantities of old and collectible firearms, It is recommended that a special category of license be implemented for collectors of firearms relics. A one time fee of P20,000 covering the entire collection of firearms relics. Individual one time registration of collectors firearms. No restriction as to caliber, mechanism and action type, so long as the weapons are classified as Small Arms. For purposes of definition, relics are firearms that are at least 50 years old, or later firearms that are classified as relics by a competent museum curator.
· Competitive Shooters – Lower license fees for Olympic and competitive shooters. Permit to transport nationwide and generous limits for transporting ammunition. These competitive shooters are bringing glory to our country thru competition, hence they should be granted incentives as well as to promote and encourage participation in the shooting sports.
[JRP Comment: The gun-carry ban will apply to Competitive Shooters. (Policy 6) To equalize the application of rules, they will not be allowed to take-out or transport their firearms from Shooting Range without Police escort, though this will be subject to the discretion of the Chief PNP. They will also not be allowed to transport and manufacture their own ammunitions. The government will support the certified competitive shooters by providing them ammunition at discounted/free price in the Shooting Range.]
· Hunters – There is a large sport hunting community in the Philippines. Hunters should to be given permit-to-hunt nationwide or permit-to-carry, with excepted regions with insurgency.
[JRP Comment: Ohhhh I didn't know that Philippines still have hunting grounds. What kinds of animals do they shoot at, bears, catch, deers, tamaraw, Philippine Eagle, tarsiers?]
Amnesty for firearms
PROGUN supports the amnesty for loose firearms. This will enable the holders of loose firearms to return to the fold of the law and for the PNP to get unlicensed firearms off the streets. The proliferation of unlicensed firearms in the general public will eventually become a crime problem for the police, if it is left unchecked. Consequently, it is in the better interest of the PNP to holds amnesties for the registration and licensing of loose firearms.
PROGUN also supports and recommends that amnesty for loose firearms should be for unlimited number of firearms, so as to encourage as many firearms registrations as possible, consistent with the rationale of an amnesty.
[JRP Comment: licensing amnesty for loose firearm is good, but it has to be done prudently, seldomly, and on a case-to-case basis so as not to encourage citizens to fail to register their illegally acquired guns.]
PROGUN also supports and strongly urges the amnesty for expired firearms licenses. Out of a total of 1,200,000 licensed firearms, 600,000 have failed to renew their licenses. The reason was either cost or ignorance of procedure. If the PNP imposes large penalties and back fees for the renewal of these expired licenses, it would no longer be attractive for the gun owners to renew their licenses (which is the main reason, actually). We propose that the PNP have an amnesty for expired firearms license holders and waive all back fees and penalties, and charge only the current fees. This would make it less of a financial burden upon the guns owners, most of whom own more than one firearm, and encourage these holders of expired licenses to come out and renew.
The projected revenue for the government, if all 600,000 expired license owners would renew their licenses at current rates, would be NINE HUNDRED TEN MILLION PESOS (P910,000,000.00.)!
[JRP Comment: No one is interested with the fees. It is best that government will implement a zero fee and one-time gun ownership registration. There is no need to register a gun periodically. However, the person who owns a gun must get a periodic license to possess a gun. (Policy 7) For persons who will not renew their license to possess for some reason, say they have no money for license fee or they are going abroad, well I think they can deposit for safe-keeping the gun that is registered in their name in the depository provided in the Police Camp.]
Airsoft guns and replicas
PROGUN and United Airsoft Alliance (UAA) initiated the legalization of the airsoft guns in support of various airsoft teams which played these types of war games nationwide. As a result, then Chief PNP Avelino Razon signed PNP Order No. 12 dated December 2007, for the one time registration of airsoft guns and a nationwide permit-to-transport. Considering the success of this endeavor and the corresponding income in fees generated for the government, we strongly recommend that this arrangement be maintained.
[JRP Comment: The development of airsoft firearms has gone rapidly. (Policy 8) The airsoft firearms already look like "real" guns, they give the same chilling effect to the public, and should be covered by the tighter-gun-carry policy.]
Accounting of Firearms (AFP, LGU’s Other government and juridical entities)
The accounting of firearms inventories of the Armed Forces (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Local Government Units (LGU’s) is a simple matter of maintaining the proper documentation for each firearm issued to each individual or unit. Regular paper work would suffice, but if finances would permit a computerized data base of such firearms, their source, and end user, would be a more efficient system of tracking firearms, and ultimately preventing them from falling into the wrong hands.
· Accountability for lost or stolen firearms within the unit should be the command responsibility of the unit commander.
· For Local Government Units, responsibility for the loss or theft of the firearms within the LGU should be borne by the head of the LGU concerned.
· There should also be strict implementation of the serial number listings of the firearms, registration, and to whom the firearm is issued.
For firearms which are in court custody (custodia legis) as part of evidence of a crime, the firearms must be surrendered to the PNP-FED as soon as the case is terminated.
· Responsibility for loss or theft of firearms in custodia legis should fall upon the presiding judge and/or the Clerk of Court of the branch.
· Review and strengthen Supreme Court Administrative Rules on disposition of firearms and criminal evidence in terminated cases.
· Impose administrative and/or criminal sanctions for negligence of judicial employees.
· Owner of lost firearm should be compensated at the fair market value of the lost firearm or firearm accessories
[JRP Comment: (Policy 9) Ownership of firearms used in a crime or confiscated in line with violation of tight-gun-carry and gun-possession policies will automatically be expropriated without compensation in favor of the Philippine National Police.]
End of PROGUN Position Paper.
Collection of blogs to eradicate Gun-Aided Crimes can be found at
I dedicate this blog to my FB friends who celebrate their birthdays today.
Antonette Mer Alcober, Blecyline Caterial Pitao, David Delano D'Angelo, Ethel Lanaban, Jonathan Cristobal Amper, Justin Pagalilauan, Rheziellen Lee Sapayani, Zoiwindy Tabay