Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lawyers oppose Purisima nixing of PTCFOR in P’sinan



LINGAYEN – Some members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter were up in arms on the unilateral decision of Director General Alan Purisima, chief of the Philippine National Police, suspending lately the permit- to- carry- firearms- outside- residence (PTCFOR) in the province
“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 stressed.
He said he and Baby Ruth Torre, vice president of the IBP-Pangasinan would request the leadership of the provincial IBP to question in court the revocation of the PTCFOR in June 13 by Purisima.
The president of IBP-Pangasinan Chapter is lawyer Manuel Manuel.
In June 23, outspoken member of the provincial board (Sangguniang Panlalawigan) Alfonso Bince, Jr. assailed the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to instead “improve, sharpen and update their intelligence and operational skills” in running after criminals.
PNP Director General Alan Purisima
 “The PNP appears to be an agency that becomes vibrant and proactive only when the President of the country is agitated and gives instruction to high-profile murders,” said Bince in his privilege speech at the recent August Body’s regular session.
In June 13 Purisima verbally ordered Police Regional Office Director Chief Superintendent Roman Felix to suspend the PTCFOR.
When asked about the opposition of the provincial IBP, Pangasinan’s Police Provincial Director Raymond Sterling Blanco retorted, in a text message, that the IBP should address their concern to Purisima as the local police only implement’s his directive. 
Blanco earlier said, as quoted by this paper, that it is the prerogative of the chief PNP to sign and cancel the permits and therefore has the option to suspend the permit.
Former president of the IBP-National Feliciano Bautista said that those with PTCFORs should not suffer because Urbiztondo Mayor Ernesto Balolong, Jr. , a friend of the president, was assassinated.
He explained that those with threats in their life and property would now be vulnerable from criminals who can pounce at will at them.

In  his appearance early this month at the provincial board, Blanco confirmed that shooting and robbery incidents spiked during the period in review and he admitted that motorcycle-riding criminals (MRCs) remain a major concern of the local police.
 He  cited a total of 106 shooting incidents were recorded in the past five months, 35 of which were perpetrated by Motorcycle Riding Criminals (MRC) and 71 involved persons who figured in shooting incidents. Of these, 55 were solved and 51 are under investigation. He said that on robbery incidents, 94 cases were recorded, higher by 40 compared to the first five months of year 2013. About 27 cases have been solved.
Balolong was peppered by two Armalite assault rifles and a.9mm pistol wielding persons who disembarked from a black Toyota Innova van last June 7 when he and a police body guard were inspecting his commercial edifice at 8:50 Am.
Balolong, the body guard, and an employee of a grocery perished on that incident while the assailants escaped on their getaway vehicle.
Republic Act No. 10591 (Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition) cites the grounds for the chief of the PNP to revoke, cancel, or  suspend  license or permit of a gun holder like (a) Commission of a crime or offense involving the firearm, ammunition, of major parts thereof; (b) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or any offense where the penalty carries an imprisonment of more than six (6) years;(c) Loss of the firearm, ammunition, or any parts thereof through negligence;(d) Carrying of the firearm, ammunition, or major parts thereof outside of residence or workplace without, the proper permit to carry the same;(e) Carrying of the firearm, ammunition, or major parts thereof in prohibited places;(f) Dismissal for cause from the service in case of government official and employee;(g) Commission of any of the acts penalized under Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002;(h) Submission of falsified documents or misrepresentation in the application to obtain a license or permit;(i) Noncompliance of reportorial requirements; and(j) By virtue of a court order.

The revocation of the PTCFOR in Pangasinan ensued in the same day after President Benigno Simeon Aquino III condoled with the family of the late waylaid to death mayor in their house in Urbiztondo.

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