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Supreme Court issues Temporary Restraining Order in favor of PROGUN

Today the Supreme Court of the Philippines acted upon the petition filed by PROGUN and issued a temporary restraining order against the Philippine National Police. As prayed for by PROGUN in its petition filed last 21 March 2014, the Supreme Court ordered the PNP to:

1. Stop the implementation of the centralized licensing and renewal scheme and revert back to the regional firearms processing via the PNP regional satellite offices;
2. Stop the implementation of the required "consent and waiver" for licensed gun owners to allow the police to enter gun owners' residences and inspect their licensed firearms;
3. Stop the use of courier services for delivery and release of approved firearms licenses.

The PNP as respondent in the case was likewise directed to file its comment on the merits of the petition within ten days from receipt of the order from the Supreme Court.

Coverage of the announcement by the Supreme Court can be viewed at this link here: https://anc.yahoo.com/video/sc-issues-tro-firearms-law-064603000.html

PROGUN files case in Supreme Court

Today PROGUN filed a petition in the Philippine Supreme Court petitioning for the annulment of several gun licensing policies of the Philippine government. The Philippine National Police ("PNP"), as the implementing agency of the firearms law RA 10591, was named as a respondent. The filing of this case is after a long period of unsuccesfully exhausting all remedies to meet and deal with the president and the PNP, who failed to heed our calls for changes to the system which has been hurting gun owners and dealers. Three core issues were raised in the petition, particularly:

PROGUN joins Gun Dealers Association of the Philippines in delivering letters to Philippine National Police Headquarters and President Benigno Aquino

On Monday 17 March 2014, PROGUN joined the Gun Dealers Association of the Philippines in going to the Headquarters of the Philippine National Police at Camp Crame Quezon City to deliver a letter petition to the office of Gen. Alan Purisima Chief of the PNP, regarding the complaints and concerns of the gun dealers of extreme difficulties encountered in the new policy of centralized firearms licensing. Under the new policy, which PROGUN opposes, firearms licensing is now centralized in the PNP's headquarter where gun owners from all over the Philippines would have make the trip to personally appear thereat and be fingerprinted and subjected to a drug test.

On the same day PROGUN went to the Presidential Palace at Malacanang to deliver a similar letter protest to President Benigno "Pnoy" Aquino.

TV coverage of this is here on ANC Yahoo Channel by reporter Anthony Taberna:

https://anc.yahoo.com/video/gun-owners-spike-gun-license-065616913.html

PROGUN Opposes personal appearance at Camp Crame for licensing and renewals

Last 3 March 2014 all PNP Civil Security group Satellite Offices in the various Regions of the Philippines were ordered closed and its personnel ordered to report to The firearms and Explosives Office at Camp Crame Quezon City, for duty.  According to the PNP Memorandum, licensing and renwals of licenses shall now be centralized in Camp Crame Quezon City, and all lincesed gun owners will have to make the trip to personally appear to apply for and/or renew their gun licenses.

PROGUN strongly opposes such policy of personal appearance at Quezon City for all licensing and renawals of licenses. The Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of several thousands of islands over which one million five hundred thousand licensed gun owners reside and are scattered. Centralization of all licensing and renewals of gun licenses would require all of these licened gun owners to travel all the way to Camp Crame Quezon City to have their licenses renewed. This is clearly a substantial burden upon licensed gun owners who may not afford the cost of travel and who may not have the time to spare away from their jobs and businesses to make the long trip wither by plane or ship. In all other licensing such as drivers licenses and business permits, the application, processing, and approval is done by local regional offices.

Moreover, as experience has shown, whenever lincesing or permits is centralized in one office or person, which has sole discretion whether to grant applciations or not, there is potential for abuse and corruption.

PROGUN Reply to Kapatiran Party/ Gunless Society article in Philippine Inquirer

An article appeared today in the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, entitled "Media Urged to Join Drive for Gun Control", featuring the Kapatiran Party/ Gunless Society's statement through its secretary general Norman Cabrera that guns are to be blamed for the killing of journalists in the Philippines.

Disregarding journalism ethics, the Inquirer did not bother to get the opposing side's view, hence this Reply. 

To begin, the Kapatiran / Gunless Society's focus on the gun and not the individual perpetrator of gun violence is a misplaced and incongruent argument. By analogy, blaming guns for the recent spate of violence against journalists is just as absurd as blaming cars for the illegal acts of drunk drivers. Being inanimate objects, guns cannot think, have no emotion, and much less can they act by themselves. Rather, the logical and proper remedy is to focus on the human actor and intervention as the cause, indentify and apprehend t7he perpetrators, and prosecute them. Kapatiran's statement is an indictment of our entire justice system as flawed, and not just guns.

Crime out of Control

This week marked a crime-filled Christmas season in the Philippines. Today prominent Zamboanga De Sur Mayor Ukol Talumpa was shot and killed along with his wife and 19 month old niece at the heart of the Philippines' capital at Nnoy Aquino International Airport as he had just arrived from a flight. Four other bystanders were injured in the attacked wherein 20 shots were fired from a .45 cal pistol. The gunman escaped on board a motorcycle driven by an accomplice, and to date remains unidentified and at large. Yesterday, the wife of prominent lawyer Atty. Raymund Fortun was shot in the face by an unidentified assailant as she was alighting from her car in front of their house. The target was seemingly her husband, Atty Fortun. And last weekend, the nation's largest mall, SM North EDSA, right in the middle of the city, was robbed by the Martilyo Gang ("Hammer Gang") which used sledge hammers to break the glass displays of jewelries, of which some 5 million worth were stolen.

To date, no suspects or leads have been established.

Traffic Altercations and Road Rage: Avoidance

Once again the shooting and wounding of a girl in a traffic altercation in Quezon City has sparked outrage at gun ownership. The driver of the victim's car was her father who had gotten into a near collision with another car, then some heated words and dagger looks were exchanged and then shots rang out. There is now a police manhunt for the shooter.

Road rages or traffic altercations, especially in the Philippines, can easily turn deadly such as this incident. Since the kiling of student Eldon Maguan by Rolito Go back in 1990, likewise due to a traffic altercation (Go's car met with the victim's car in a one way street), serious concern has been raised about the safety of driving in our streets. To be certain, Attitude plays a big role in whether or not a simple traffic altercation can escalate into a road rage. In any situation, driving or not, it is never a wise move to provoke other people by harsh and angry words or simple dagger looks. Filipinos being who they are, are usually very sensitive to such attitudes which they view as offensive. Unlike other cultures, simple mean looks can result in tragic deadly encounters.

Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan: Armed Citizens Desperately Needed.

Typhoon Haiyan did not just bring destruction and tragedy in the Philippines. It also brought with it a total collapse of law and order and civil structures. As expected through past experience in Hurricane Katrina and other natural calamities, the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan created chaos and disorder among survivors who were desperate for food and water. It also brought about opportunism, criminality, looting and stealing, amonst those who simply wanted to take advantage of the situation. No police were available in the week after the Typhoon hit the City of Tacloban, Leyte: among 300 or so police only 20 reported for duty, as most we also victimized by the Typhoon, dead or injured, or abandoned their posts. The slow response by the government, both local and national, to quell the rioting and looting resulted in numerous shops and stores ranscaked and their goods stolen. Upscale homes were not spared as marauders broke in and beat up the owners, raped their women, and took away whatever they could. About 600 Local prisoners who had escaped from a prison and local insurgents foraging for food, compounded the problem.

One news account even stated that a store owner in the town of Guian Leyte, witnessed uniformed policemen were among the looters of her store.

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