Build a Culture of Peace, Not of Violence, in Our Country. Support the CITIZEN PROTECTION ACT OF 2010.
The possession in public places of firearms and deadly weapons should be authorized only for those directly and primarily engaged in police, military, or security services, and even then, only to enforce the law under strict and clearly defined guidelines. Such measure does not in any way impair the privilege of responsible and qualified citizens to keep licensed firearms at home or sports clubs.
On 21 September 2010, Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, Inc., ABA Party-List and Ang Kapatiran Party petitioned the House of Representatives to enact the Citizen Protection Act (CPA) of 2010 – an Act to Regulate the Bearing of Firearms and Deadly Weapons in Public Places, Provide Penalties for its Violation, Provide General Amnesty and Financial Rewards for Voluntary Surrender and Decommissioning of the Same and Appropriate Funds Therefor, and for Other Purposes.
The CPA of 2010 is a practical measure that, among others, will:
1. Bring Down Gun-related Crimes: Statistics from the PNP show that from 2004 to 2008, 97.7 percent of gun-related crimes involved loose firearms, making the Philippines 10th in gun homicide rates worldwide. However, during the imposition of the five-month gun ban in the 2010 elections, the incidence of crime in the country fell by nearly 70 percent as compared to the same period in 2009, from 502,655 reported crimes to 157,674 cases nationwide.
2. Assist the PNP and Empower Communities in Peace-Keeping: This Act will help the police fight crime and violence on the streets, isolate and easily identify outlaws and violators of this Act, thus facilitating their arrest and confiscation of their weapons. Concerned citizens can blow their whistle without fear that they are pointing to the wrong person. Without this Act, it is difficult to distinguish criminals from plainclothesmen or from those with permit to carry, or from bodyguards. Sometimes, criminals pretend to be plainclothesmen, at other times plainclothesmen pretend to be criminals. It is about time to separate the grain from the chaff.
3. Keep in Jail Gun-bearing Criminals and Insurgents: Criminals and insurgents, who are caught with the illegal possession of firearm even on crimes in which bail is allowed and whose cases are being heard, are immediately liable for the violation of this Act, punishable by imprisonment of not less than 12 years and 1 day nor more than 20 years without parole and a fine of not less than P50,000 nor more than P300,000. What this Act seeks to implement are measures to control if not eradicate the presence of firearms in the streets and unauthorized areas or places. We cannot allow our country to have a proliferation of firearms, which are the main instruments of violence in the country and also the main instruments used by threat groups like the CPP-NPA, the renegade MNLF and MILF, and even the syndicates.
4. End Private Armies. Section 6 (Who may be assigned security personnel or bodyguards) of the Act provides: When circumstances warrant, including but not limited to threats to life and security, a private individual or public official, may, upon application, be assigned regular members of the PNP or the AFP or the National Bureau of Investigation, and as augmentation, duly licensed/authorized Protective Agents of Private Detective Agencies, to provide security, for a specified duration.
5. Put an End to Illegal Firearms: Section 10 (General Amnesty) of this Act provides for financial rewards to those who take advantage of the general amnesty whereby individuals may voluntarily surrender unlicensed firearms with no questions asked and without incurring any criminal or civil liability. Section 11 provides for decommissioning of surrendered and confiscated firearms and deadly weapons.
The CPA of 2010 brings with it a counterpart bill in the Senate, SB No. 129 or the Firearms Regulation Act of 2010, filed by Sen. Franklin Drilon.
In an open letter dated 30 January 2011, supporters of both bills - Mga Tagatulak ng Kapayapaan - beseeched President Benigno Aquino III to certify both bills as urgent for immediate approval by both House of Congress.
Among all Filipinos, only a little over 1% have registered firearms and a fraction of this with permits to carry.
Government's indifference to this measure is inconceivable.
For more details, go to www.kapatiranparty.org
We, the undersigned, support the Citizen Protection Act (CPA) of 2010 that makes the harmless act of carrying a gun or any deadly weapon in public places a criminal offence (mala prohibita) before such act turns into a crime.
This, too, was the objective of the COMELEC gun ban which was successfully implemented by the PNP and the AFP during the 2010 election period from January 10 to June 9, 2010.
The CPA of 2010 is an initiative bill filed in the House of Representatives in accordance with R.A. 6735 that empowers the people to propose laws. A counterpart bill in the Senate is SB No. 129.
We, the undersigned, also urge President Benigno Aquino III to certify both bills as urgent for approval by both Houses of Congress.
It is high time we build a culture of peace, not of violence.
The Build a Culture of Peace, Not of Violence, in Our Country. Support the CITIZEN PROTECTION ACT OF 2010. petition to Filipinos was written by Norman V. Cabrera and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.