Relief for Deprived Gun Holders
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – Threatened businessmen, lawyers, media men, and others could heave a relief after the chief of the Philippine National Police lifted the suspension of the permit to carry firearms outside the residence (PTCFOR) in the province of Pangasinan.
The memorandum, posted at the FaceBook Page of the Pangasinan’s Police Provincial Office, ordered PPO’s Acting Director S/Supt. Reynaldo Biay: "2. This pertains to the suspension of all PTCFOR in the province of Pangasinan. 3. In this regards please be informed that said suspension is hereby lifted effective today October 13, 2014. X X X For the Acting Regional Director” It was signed by Senior Superintendent Angelito D. Dumageng, Chief Regional Operation and Plans Division, Camp Brigadier General Oscar M. Florendo, City of San Fernando, La Union.
PTCFOR in the huge province has been arbitrarily ordered suspended by PNP Director General Alan Purisima to Acting Regional Director Chief Supt. Roman Felix last June 13 a few days after Urbiztondo Mayor Ernesto Balolong, a closed friend of President Benigno Aquino III, was assassinated by Innova car riding hit men as he was checking his property in his town.
The suspension raised furor among gun holders who felt vulnerable to killers who are just lurking somewhere waiting for a chance to pounce on them.
“The decision of Purisima was arbitrary. It is a violation of the constitutional rights (of due process) of the citizen to bear arm. What was his authority? There should be first a board resolution before he suspended it,” lawyer Joseph Samson said to this paper a week after the chief of the national police revoked the permit to carry guns.
In the press conference early September here called by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption to condemn the failed slay attempt to Pangasinan’s broadcaster Orly Navarro, VACC’s Lawyer Manny Mendoza welcomed Northern Watch Newspaper suggestion that the anti crime body would write a letter to Purisima requesting him to lift up the suspension of PTCFOR after the former feared that more lives would be snapped out because criminals would be emboldened to perpetuate their dastardly acts.
After that mass revocation of the permit to carry firearms, Baby Ruth Torre, the Vice President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines –Pangasinan Chapter, told this paper that she and colleagues would request the IBP-Pangasinan to question the actuation of the chief PNP in court in relation to the cancellation of this part of the law in Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms & Ammunition Law).
Even former IBP-National president Feliciano Bautista said that those with PTCFOR should not suffer because Balolong was ambushed.
When asked who convinced the Chief PNP to lift the cancellation, Pangasinan’s Police Provincial Office spokesman Chief Inspector Ryan Manongdo said that there was no explanation in the memorandum sent to the PPO.
“What was stated there was just “lifted””.
Dagupan City’s Chief of Police Supt. Christopher Abrahano said no reason has been given why the PTCFOR was back in the province.
“But before CPNP (Purisima) has lifted it, he called the big wigs in the Police Regional Office-1”.
He added that probably the tranquility in the peace and order situation in the “Northern Front” resulted for the lifting.