Loose firearms used in mall shooting incidents

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Sep 23 2011 02:48 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2011 10:51 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The father of the 13-year-old boy who killed his 16-year-old friend and then committed suicide inside SM Pampanga on Tuesday has denied owning the gun used in the shooting.

"Wala akong alam tungkol sa baril na 'yun e," said the 13-year-old boy's father.

Police earlier said it is possible that the firearm used in the fatal shooting belonged to the mother of the younger victim.

“Ang initial, mayroon kaming nakita na sabi niya kukunin niya ang baril ng mother niya,” Superintendent Arnold Palomo, chief of the Provincial Investigation and Detection Management of Pampanga police, had said.

The incident is considered case closed by Pampanga police following the deaths of both victims.

The 2 teens passed away on Wednesday after their families decided to have their life support systems removed.

The remains of the 13-year-old boy have been brought to Mariveles, Bataan province. His burial is set on Saturday.

The family of the 16-year-old victim, meanwhile, has expressed plans to sue the family of the 13-year-old shooter.

“Balak namin magsampa ng kaso para sa hustisya,” said the mother of the 16-year-old boy.

The victim's family said they will first seek legal advice.
The 16-year-old teen had hoped to take up hairstyling in Japan. His body has been brought home to Bulacan and will be buried on Sunday.

The families of both victims have decided to donate the teens’ vital organs.

Loose firearms

Police investigation revealed that both firearms used in the SM Pampanga and SM City North EDSA shooting were unregistered, raising concerns over the proliferation of loose firearms.

Both firearms used in the separate shooting incidents were homemade guns, locally known as “paltik”.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms and Explosives Division, there are 1,110,277 loose firearms in the country, a majority of which can be found at the National Capital Region (315,127).

Authorities said guns are sold between P2,000 to P3,000 in the black market.

Records by the PNP showed that 3,853 were crimes committed with the use of firearms.

According to the Philippine National Police Civil Security Group (PNP-CSG), unregistered firearms are commonly used in crimes.

“Only 2% ng registered firearms ang nagagamit sa crimes. Mostly ang mga nagagamit sa crimes ay unregistered firearms,” Atty. Rachel Jane Casipit-Osit, chief legal officer of PNP-CSG told ANC’s “Top Story” on Thursday.

Osit noted that a majority of loose firearms come from those that are illegally manufactured and smuggled into the country.

Authorities are also looking into the possibility that missing firearms of law enforcement agencies or firearms lost during police and military operations are used in crimes.

“Sa mga operation ng pulis or military, pwedeng may mga losses dun,” said Osit.

Osit noted that the National Firearms Control Program was implemented in May 2009 to account for all loose firearms in the country.

However, the groups Ang Kapatiran and Gunless Society believe that a total gun ban is the solution in controlling the crime rate.

"Masyadong maluwag. Ang dapat gawin diyan ay gamitin nila ang military, gamitin nila ang pulis at talagang pilitin nilang magkaroon ng peace and order sa bayan,” said Manolo Dayrit, chairman of Ang Kapatiran and a member of Gunless Society.

Gaps in mall security

The string of mall shootings prompted the Philippine National Police Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (PNP-SOSIA) to discuss security measures with mall security heads and private security agencies.

Police said there may have been gaps in the implementation of security measures.

“They are implementing security measures, they have their security plan and they are providing security but such an incident happened. Kaya siguro may gap pa din sa kanilang mga ini-implement na security measures. Siguro dapat ay i-review nila ang security measures na ini-implement,” said Senior Superintendent Buenaventura Viray.

PNP- SOSIA regulates and oversees the organization, operation and business activities of Private Security Agencies, Private Detective Agencies, Company Guard Forces, Government Guard Units, Private Security Training Schools, security personnel and security training school staff.

Meanwhile, the female security guard on duty prior to the September 14 shooting inside the SM City North EDSA in Quezon City has been fired.

The Lambdan Security Agency, which oversees security in the mall, said based on CCTV footage, the female guard failed to thoroughly check the bag of suspect Shella Macapugay when she entered the mall.

Macapugay shot dead her estranged husband who works in SM City and also killed a security guard who was trying to stop her from committing suicide.

Three shootings have occurred in an SM mall this year.

Last July 29, a security guard was killed in a shootout with a Games and Amusement Board employee inside the restroom of SM Delgado Mall in Iloilo City. -- with reports from Zyann Ambrosio, Jorge Cariño, Doland Castro and Gretchen Malalad, ABS-CBN News; ANC