News

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Assassination Nation - HBO's Vice story on Corrupted Philippines Politics

HBO's Vice news magazine show featured a story on firearms and political corruption in the Philippines. While this piece clearly offers an anti-gun perspective, it does draw attention to warlords and corrupt politicians as drivers of gun violence in the country.

The plain fact is that the Philippine 'gun problem' is inextricably linked to our nation's struggles with political corruption. No amount of crackdowns on legal civilian firearms ownership will have any effect because we are not the cause. This focus on restrictions for civilians is merely a sleight-of-hand, a tactic to draw attention away from those who are truly responsible. As our crime statistics show, the violence continues despite the gun ban. Ordinary civilians who follow the law suffer from greatly diminished security yet it's business as usual for the criminals and warlords.

We have now entered the election period when politicians make promises to tackle society's ills and turn things around for the better. Regardless of their claims, one thing is for sure: they won't solve problems by looking in the wrong direction.

Barangay and SK Elections-Relatively Peaceful?

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It is still early to tell that the ongoing Barangay and SK Elections is relatively peaceful. The number of election related violent incidents have already surpassed the 2007 Barangay and SK elections mark and it is still rising considering the elections in most barangays are still ongoing. One COMELEC commissioner has prematurely announced that the lesser number of election related violent incidents were mainly due to the total gun ban that they imposed, how I wish he will study the statistics again. the truth is that with a total gun ban the number of election related violent incidents rose to more than the acceptable limits!

PROGUN SUPPORTS THE CALL TO ARMS BY THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL PROSECUTION SERVICE AND THE OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

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The PEACEFUL RESPONSIBLE OWNERS OF GUNS fully supports the call of the members of the National Prosecution Service to be armed in the light of the recent assassination of Lanao Del Norte Provincial Prosecutor Macadatar Marsangca. Atty. Marsangca was shot in cold blood while he was jogging in Iligan City of the same province. The duty to prosecute criminal elements is as hazardous as arresting them but our prosecutors are not armed while they are discharging their functions. They should be armed all the times because the threat to their lives do not end after they leave their offices. The same is true with our special prosecutors. Fighting graft and corruption in government is as dangerous as putting common criminals to jail and this is impossible without the evidence prepared by graft investigators who are in direct contact with the government officials who are under investigation but protected by a squad of armed guards.

PNP RESHUFFLES TOP BRASS

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The continuing reorganization of the Philippine National Police has finally affected the Firearms and Explosives Division. Chief Superintended Alfredo Caballes was relieved of his duties as Chief of the F.E.D. and was replaced by Chief Supt. Gil Meneses, a police officer known to have worked with then Chief PNP, now Senator Panfilo M. Lacson. Most of the subordinate officers of the said unit were also re-assigned to different units of the police agency.

Armed Citizen Seminars

Part of our agenda this summer is the holding of Armed Citizen Seminars. This will be LETHAL FORCE lecture, similar to Massad Ayoob's LFI, with scenario-role playing and practical exercises, for licensed gun owners, especially those who carry guns. The seminar will be half day and will cover the practical and legal aspects of using deadly force, self-defense, and Philippine laws on guns. Among our speakers will be lawyers, security consultants, and people who have been involved in violent encounters who will relate their experiences.

Meeting with Sen. Gregorio Honasan II

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On 12 October 2009, representatives from Progun, PPSA, FAMAP, and UAA had a meeting with Sen. Gregorio Honasan, chairman of the senate committee on public order and safety, regarding HB6776. We informed the good senator about the efforts of some legislators in the lower house to railroad said bill without consultation. We also expressed our strong opposition to the bill. The senator assured us that if and when the bill reaches the senate committee, he will definitely give the firearms stakeholders an opportunity to be heard and that due process and proper procedure will be observed.

Meeting with Cong. Jack Enrile

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On 28 September and 6 and 7 October 2009 UAA, PROGUN, and PPSA had a joint meeting with Congressman Juan Ponce "Jackie" Enrile Jr. to strengthen ties among the shooting community. Jack Enrile is President and Founder of PPSA and is a strong supporter of the shooting sports in the Philippines. We sought the support of Jack Enrile to oppose House Bill No. 6776 and Senate Bill No. 3375, to which cause he pledged his full support for our political agenda and our projects. He likewise agreed to fund projects of PROGUN and UAA.

Meeting with Cong. Arthur Defensor

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Last 3 October 2009, Progun and UAA representative, Atty. Ticky Tabujara, along with Ms Gina Angangco, the President of Armscor Philippines, met with the House Majority Floor Leader Congressman Arthur Defensor to discuss the status of some pending House Bills on firearms, particularly House Bill No. 6776. The Majority Leader is the fraternity brother of Atty. Tabujara from the Sigma Rho Franternity of the UP College of Law whose son Art, also happens to be his batchmate. The congressman was kind enough to accommodate us and discuss our legislative concerns.

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