Group urges Palace: Certify gun control bill as urgent

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2011 11:37 AM | Updated as of Jun 15 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A party-list group on Tuesday urged the Aquino administration to impose stricter gun control following the fatal shooting of a radio commentator in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

In a statement, Ang Kapatiran Party warned that failure to control the proliferation of unlicensed firearms will lead to more shooting deaths of journalists and innocent civilians. It noted a Philippine National Police (PNP) report that loose firearms are used in 97% of gun-related crimes.

The group urged Malacañang to tell its allies in Congress to consolidate 2 gun control bills - the Citizen Protection Act of 2010 and the Firearms Regulation Act of 2010 - and to certify the consolidated bill as urgent.

"We again beseech PNoy to stop gun violence before it begins by consolidating the two gun control bills now pending in the House of Representatives and the Senate into one bill, and certifying it as urgent for immediate approval by both Houses of Congress," Ang Kapatiran secretary-general Norman Cabrera said.

The group, meanwhile, said stricter gun control led to a 70% drop in crime during the 2010 election period. It cited a PNP report that said "from 502,655 reported crimes in the first semester of 2009, total crime volume sharply dropped to 157,674 cases nationwide in the first semester of 2010 due to the imposition of the five-month gun ban in connection with the May 10 elections.”