Cases Assigned Part 1.docx - G.R No 157036 June 9 2004...

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G.R. No. 157036 June 9, 2004 FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ Petitioner, vs. HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY; DIRECTOR GENERAL HERMOGENES E. EBDANE, JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE CHIEF OF THE PNP, ET. AL., respondents. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.: The right of individuals to bear arms is not absolute, but is subject to regulation. The maintenance of peace and order 1 and the protection of the people against violence are constitutional duties of the State, and the right to bear arms is to be construed in connection and in harmony with these constitutional duties. Before us is a petition for prohibition and injunction seeking to enjoin the implementation of the " Guidelines in the Implementation of the Ban on the Carrying of Firearms Outside of Residence " 2 (Guidelines) issued on January 31, 2003, by respondent Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP). The facts are undisputed: In January 2003, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo delivered a speech before the members of the PNP stressing the need for a nationwide gun ban in all public places to avert the rising crime incidents. She directed the then PNP Chief, respondent Ebdane, to suspend the issuance of Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR), thus: " THERE IS ALSO NEED TO FOCUS ON THE HIGH PROFILE CRIMES THAT TEND TO DISTURB THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PERIMETERS OF THE COMMUNITY – THE LATEST BEING THE KILLING OF FORMER NPA LEADER ROLLY KINTANAR. I UNDERSTAND WE ALREADY HAVE THE IDENTITY OF THE CULPRIT. LET US BRING THEM TO THE BAR OF JUSTICE. THE NPA WILL FIND IT MORE DIFFICULT TO CARRY OUT THEIR PLOTS IF OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES CAN RID THEMSELVES OF RASCALS IN UNIFORM, AND ALSO IF WE ENFORCE A GUN BAN IN PUBLIC PLACES. THUS, I AM DIRECTING THE PNP CHIEF TO SUSPEND INDEFINITELY THE ISSUANCE OF PERMIT TO CARRY FIREARMS IN PUBLIC PLACES. THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS WILL NOW BE LIMITED ONLY TO OWNERSHIP AND POSSESSION OF GUNS AND NOT TO CARRYING THEM IN PUBLIC PLACES. FROM NOW ON, ONLY THE UNIFORMED MEN IN THE MILITARY AND AUTHORIZED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS CAN CARRY FIREARMS IN PUBLIC PLACES, AND ONLY PURSUANT TO EXISTING LAW. CIVILIAN OWNERS MAY NO LONGER BRING THEIR FIREARMS OUTSIDE THEIR RESIDENCES. THOSE WHO WANT TO USE THEIR GUNS FOR TARGET PRACTICE WILL BE GIVEN SPECIAL AND TEMPORARY PERMITS FROM TIME TO TIME ONLY FOR THAT PURPOSE. AND THEY MAY NOT LOAD THEIR GUNS WITH BULLETS UNTIL THEY ARE IN THE PREMISES OF THE FIRING RANGE. WE CANNOT DISREGARD THE PARAMOUNT NEED FOR LAW AND ORDER. JUST AS WE CANNOT BE HEEDLESS OF OUR PEOPLE’S ASPIRATIONS FOR PEACE. " Acting on President Arroyo’s directive, respondent Ebdane issued the assailed Guidelines quoted as follows: " TO : All Concerned FROM : Chief, PNP SUBJECT : Guidelines in the Implementation of the Ban on the Carrying of Firearms Outside of Residence.
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