To Arm or Not To Arm

The debate is on. To arm or not to arm is the question most professionals are asking in view of the assasination of personalities in the countryside. Gun ban is only effective in the urban areas like Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao City but definitely not in Maguindanao, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Cotabato City and others more. The Philippine Judges Association is calling the Supreme Court to allow them to carry their own firearms, the Department of Justice has requested the Commission on Elections to exempt the prosecutors from the gun ban which will last until November 10, 2010. How many judges, prosecutors and lawyers will die until the end of the gun ban? Even doctors in Mindanao are arming themselves because of the unabetted criminality in the area. Perhaps even the nurses will likewise make a call to allow themselves to carry arms in the light of the rape of a volunteer nurse in Cotabato City. No one is safe or at least no one feels safe without a handgun in their possession.

But the power to impose gun bans is not absolute. Republic Act No. 7166 allows an exemption from the gun ban which was implemented until then General Jesus Versoza became PNP Chief. It was only during the May 2010 National Elections that exemptions were totally eliminated allegedly upon the prodding of the former PNP Chief. The COMELEC should re think its position and implement the law properly by allowing exemptions to qualified public officials like judges, prosecutors (both public and private), defense counsel and civilians. It should not let its cloak to be stained by the blood of the victims of crimes that could have been prevented if they were armed and was able to defend themselves. The Peaceful Owners of Guns is supporting the call of the Philippine Judges Association and the Department of Justice to arm the judges and prosecutors. The same is true with private prosecutors and defense counsel, the barrio doctors and medical workers should likewise be armed. Engineers and other workers supervising the construction of roads in the provinces must also be allowed to bear arms for self defense. We are not promoting a culture of violence by espousing the right to bear arms but the realization of a basic right, the right to live.

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6 responses to “To Arm or Not To Arm

  1. Not only to high ranking officials should give exemptions, but we civilians have also lives, and we have a loving family.

  2. As further evidence of the worthlessness of the current Comelec Gun Ban, yesterday Judge Reynaldo Lacasandile of Ilocos Sur was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on his way to court. He was killed about 200 meters away from a police station along a main highway. The police were powerless to protect him. His killers remain at large. The killers were not deterred, nor stopped, by the current Comelec Gun Ban.


    “Armed men kill judge in Ilocos Sur” 

    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 04:35:00 10/05/2010

    Filed Under: Judiciary (system of justice), Crime
    TAGUDIN, ILOCOS SUR—Cesar Junio, a vulcanizing shop owner in Barangay Lacong in this town, had greeted and talked with Judge Reynaldo Lacasandile at about 5 a.m. on Monday as the latter stopped by to wait for a ride to Vigan City for his court duty.

    A few minutes later, Junio and his wife heard sounds from what they initially thought as exploding firecrackers.

    But they later realized that Lacasandile was in the area and when they checked, they saw the judge slumped by the roadside and bloodied.

    Lacasandile, 48, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle that sped toward nearby La Union. The Junio couple reported the crime to a police station, some 200 meters from where the judge was shot.

    Lacasandile, a resident of Barangay Salvacion here and presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 20 in Vigan City, died while being taken to the Tagudin General Hospital and Capillariasis Center.

    He had two bullet wounds in the body, with one piercing his chest.

    Lacasandile was the second judge killed in Northern Luzon this year. In May, Judge Andres Cipriano was shot and killed by two men in Aparri, Cagayan.

    Senior Supt. Eduardo Dopale, Ilocos Sur police director, said investigators were looking at the cases handled by Lacasandile as they considered a work-related conflict as possible motive behind the attack.

    Dopale also formed the Task Force Lacasandile, headed by Chief Insp. Villaflor Banawagan, provincial chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, to handle the investigation.

    He said the judge did not have a security aide and usually waited for a ride to Vigan in the area where he was attacked.

    “The suspects were able to study his routine,” Dopale said.

    Lacasandile’s wife, Vilma, believed that her husband was attacked due to a work-related reason. “He had no enemies,” she said.

    She, however, declined to talk about the incident further on the advice of relatives, who asked her to wait for the results of the police investigation.

    Lacasandile served as Ilocos Sur prosecutor before he was appointed to his post on Nov. 13, 2009.

    Candon City councilor Marvin Tibangwa, a former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ chapter in Ilocos Sur, condemned the judge’s slaying.

    Tibangwa said Lacasandile was a simple and quiet man. “He did not brag about his position. If the bus conductor did not recognize him, he would stand on the aisle [and would not demand a seat] if the bus was full,” he said.

    Philippine National Police spokesman Senior Supt. Agrimero Cruz said PNP Chief Director Gen. Raul Bacalzo has sent a team from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to assist local police in the investigation. Leoncio Balbin Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon; with a report from Alcuin Papa in Manila

  3. Why should only judges, doctors and nurses be armed during this so-called “gunban”?  Why not every responsible, law-abiding and peace-loving civilian who just wants to live his life quietly and have the ability to protect himself and his loved ones?

    1. Exempt everyone!


      Better yet, BAN THE TOTAL GUN BAN! criminality is universal for people coming from all walks of life here in the Philippines! everyone is at risk!

  4. We can’t just wait for the police to give us protection. Their time, resources and manpower are stretched too thin as it is. In life-or-death situations time is ALWAYS of the essence. A duly-licensed firearm will certainly enable the citizen to address it in a timely manner. You cannot expect the State to be there all the time to protect you in times of peril, so you will have to do the job yourself.

    In closing, let me quote this (and I apologize if the name of whoever said this escapes me at the moment): “BETTER TO HAVE A GUN AND NOT NEED IT THAN TO NEED IT AND NOT HAVE IT”. Self-preservation is a right and EVERYONE is born with it.

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