PROGUN files Contempt Charges against PNP and Moves for the Suspension of the Expiration of All Firearms Licenses
Today, PROGUN filed a Verified Petition for Contempt with the Supreme Court against Chief Philippine National Police ("PNP") Gen Alan Purisima and five officers of the PNP Firearms And Explosives Office ("FEO") for their having violated the temporary restraining order ("TRO") of the court that was issued last 10 April 2014 in PROGUN's case versus the PNP. The Verified Petition for Contempt charged that the PNP on orders of its Chief Gen Purisima and implemeted by the officers of the FEO, continued to implement the centralized licensing policy of requiring licensed gun owners to go to Camp Crame, Quezon City personally to renew their licenses, which was specifically restrained and enjoined by the TRO. The same policy was imposed for all new firearms license applicants. The TRO likewise ordered the PNP to re-open their satellite offices in the regions to accept and process firearms license renewals, which was also not complied with. Lastly, the PNP likewise continued to process registration applications with the "Consent and Waiver" clause allowing the police to enter into the homes of licensed gun owners to inspect their firearms, which was also enjoined and restrained by the SC's TRO.
Under Sec. 7 Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, disobedience to a court order constitutes indirect contempt that may be punished by imprisonment or fine, or both in the discretion of the court. In addition, the acts which were committed in violation of the TRO may be ordered undone by the court.
Consequently, PROGUN also filed simultaneously, a motion to order that the EXPIRATION of all firearms licenses be SUSPENDED, until such time that the PNP complies with the TRO to allow gun owners to renew their licenses. This motion was filed so as to protect gun owners whose licenses were expiring, but who were prevented from renewing the same through no fault of their own, from being considered as having in possession a loose firearm. Under the current policy of the FEO, gun owners now have to re-apply for a License to Own and Possess and re-submit a lenghty list of requirements first before their licenses could be renewed. In addition, gun owners are now required to bring their firearms to Camp Crame, Quezon City regardless of where the owner lives in the country, to have the firearm subjected to balistic tests and recording in a database. No permit to transport the firearms have been issued by the PNP for such purpose.
Since the last order of the Supreme Court las 10 April 2014, the PNP through the Solicitor General's Office has failed to file its Comment to PROGUN's Petition for Certiorari filed last March 25, 2014. Conseqeuently, PROGUN will move that the PNP has already waived its right to file its Comment and that our petition now be submitted for resolution.