Elec­tion gun ban

I jok­ingly told Datu Perong to own an air ri­fle or an air pis­tol, in­stead. That should solve his prob­lem

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - IG­NA­CIO R. BUNYE tot­ing­[email protected]

Up to last week when my at­ten­tion was called by a Face­book friend, I was not fully aware of the ex­tent of the cov­er­age of the elec­tion gun ban. A for­mer high school class­mate, Datu Perong Cas­tro, mes­saged ear­lier that he re­ceived his LTOPF (li­cense to own and pos­sess firearms) and his PTC (per­mit to carry) just be­fore New Year. Un­for­tu­nately, with elec­tion gun ban go­ing into ef­fect last Jan. 10, he has been forced to leave his firearms at home.

I jok­ingly told Datu Perong to own an air ri­fle or an air pis­tol, in­stead. That should solve his prob­lem. A re­sponse from an­other FB friend, Owie Peñaflor, was im­me­di­ate. Owie in­ter­jected: “But aren’t air guns also in­cluded in the Com­elec gun ban?”

Owie’s re­sponse was cer­tainly news to me so I de­cided to do an im­me­di­ate fact check. Owie was cor­rect. In fact, the mat­ter has al­ready been de­cided by the Supreme Court in a cer­tio­rari case filed be­fore it in 2010.

Lawyer Rey­nante Orceo, founder of Eastern­bloc Air­soft Philip­pines, asked the Supreme Court to de­clare as un­con­sti­tu­tional a pro­vi­sion in Com­elec Res­o­lu­tion No. 8714 that bans all per­sons from car­ry­ing firearms and deadly weapons in pub­lic places in­clud­ing pub­lic build­ings, streets, parks and pri­vate ve­hi­cles.

The pe­ti­tioner ques­tioned the in­clu­sion of air­soft guns in the def­i­ni­tion of firearms. He con­tended that the pre­vail­ing law pun­ish­ing il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of firearms did not men­tion air­soft guns and their replica in clas­si­fy­ing dif­fer­ent firearms. The SC, through As­so­ciate Jus­tice Dios­dado Per­alta ruled:

“The in­clu­sion of air­soft guns and air­guns in the term firearms in Res­o­lu­tion No. 8714 for pur­poses of the gun ban dur­ing the elec­tion pe­riod is a rea­son­able re­stric­tion, the ob­jec­tive of which is to en­sure the hold­ing of free, orderly, hon­est, peace­ful and cred­i­ble elec­tions.”

In a sep­a­rate con­cur­ring opin­ion, As­so­ciate Jus­tice Ar­turo Brion, said: The term “firearms” as used herein also in­cludes air ri­fles and air pis­tols not clas­si­fied as toys un­der the pro­vi­sions of Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der No. 712 dated 28 July 1981.

There you have it. Pag-sin­abi ng ref­eree, tapos!

Elec­tion story

One of my fa­vorite elec­tion sto­ries sup­pos­edly hap­pened dur­ing the first na­tional elec­tion post Edsa. At that time, 24 sen­a­tors were be­ing elected. Se­na­to­rial can­di­dates drew lots to de­ter­mine their or­der of speak­ing on­stage. It was sim­ply tough luck for the can­di­date who drew No. 24.

As ex­pected, the town plaza, where the mit­ing the avance was held, was jam­packed at the start. But the crowd also pro­gres­sively dwin­dled as each can­di­date left with his own en­tourage or “hakot” af­ter his turn to speak. It was past mid­night when Can­di­date 24 spoke. Be­lieve it or not, he was left with an au­di­ence of three.

Un­de­terred, Can­di­date 24 still de­liv­ered an im­pas­sioned plea for their sup­port. Out of cu­rios­ity, he asked why they pa­tiently waited. One of them re­sponded: “Se­nador, kami ho yung may ari ng sound sys­tem!”

Postscript: Can­di­date 24 landed among the top 12.--from SunStar Manila

Ini­tially, we were de­mor­al­ized as it was re­ally un­ex­pected. But we are po­lice of­fi­cers and need to mo­ti­vate our­selves. FOR­MER SAN FER­NANDO PO­LICE CHIEF ARVI ARBUIS, ON THE RE­CENT RELIEF OF THE TOWN’S PO­LICE OF­FI­CERS FROM THEIR POSTS

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