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Robin’s gun collection elicits mixed reactions

June 29, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 928 views

ONCE jailed for illegal possession of guns, Sen. Robin Padilla has literally stirred the hornet’s nest when he showed off via his social media page his high-powered weapons after becoming a gun endorser.

Upon showing his gun collections, he raised two questions: First is whether he is qualified to own those firearms after being given absolute pardon by former President Rodrigo R. Duterte? Second, is he allowed to own a high-powered firearm?

The neophyte lawmaker displayed the contents of his so-called ‘Bad Boy Vault’ which include high-powered guns and said all of those weapons are licensed.

Padilla also said he has undergone gun handling and basic combat training.

His Facebook post has generated over 12 million views and literally stirred various reactions from the public which know that the action star was charged with violation of Presidential Decree 1866 or illegal possession of firearms and ammunition in 1992.

Padilla’s camp, led by his lawyer Rudolf Philip Jurado, maintained that the absolute pardon given by PRRD to Padilla restored all his civil and political rights including the privilege to be given a License to Own and Possess Firearms or LTOFP.

An individual given an LTOFP is automatically allowed to have a Firearm Registration and even a Permit-to-Carry-Firearm-Outside-of-Residence.

The Journal Group sought the reaction of many officials regarding the issue and was given a full explanation on the matter.

Records showed that Padilla is a registered owner of 24 firearms including 17 small firearms and five light weapons which he has already deposited to the PNP Civil Security Group for safekeeping.

The two other firearms have been declared as ‘loss’ by the senator.

PNP-CSG director, Brigadier General Benjamin H. Silo Jr. said that as far as they are concerned, Sen. Padilla is qualified to have an LTOFP since he has been given an absolute pardon by the former president.

Records showed that the senator was issued his LTOFP way back in 2016, the same year he got his absolute pardon.

Silo however they have an existing Firearms and Explosives Office Board which will determine the rightful disposition in case an individual will have a licensed firearm even though he is not qualified to have such gun.

He explained that basically under Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013, only members of the PNP, the Armed Forces and other Law Enforcement Agencies can own light weapons.

“If the question to be asked is qualified ba si Sen. Padilla to have an LTOFP, yes he is qualified because he was granted absolute pardon by the president. The 2nd question na is he qualified ba to own a light weapon. The answer is under the law, definitely no,” Brig. Gen. Silo said.

He was referring to light weapons acquired by the senator after the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10591 was approved in 2014 or two years after he got his LTOFP.

It turned out that Sen. Padilla has already deposited his five light weapons to the PNP-CSG for safekeeping, just like what a lawyer-official in Metro Manila did when he got involved in a viral gun video.

The viral video prompted the official to surrender his 13 licensed firearms to the PNP-CSG for safekeeping until his case is resolved.

Padilla is the holder of a Type 4 License in his LTOFP. It allows a citizen who is a certified gun collector to own and possess more than 15 registered firearms. However, as a prerequisite for Type 5 License, the applicant must prove through appropriate documents or records the fact of his/her being a certified gun collector.

Section 10 of the same RA 10591 IRR says that ‘only small arms as defined in the IRR may be registered by licensed citizens or licensed juridical entities for ownership, possession and concealed carry.’

It says that ‘a light weapon as defined in the IRR shall be lawfully acquired or possessed exclusively by the AFP, the PNP and other law enforcement agencies authorized for such purpose by the President or by law that Congress may pass after the effectivity of this IRR.’

“Small arms” refer to firearms intended to be primarily designed for individual use or that which is generally considered to mean a weapon intended to be fired from the hand or shoulder, which are not capable of fully automatic bursts of discharge, such as a pistol or a revolver.

(The law describes ‘Light Weapons’ as: Class-A Light weapons which refer to self-loading pistols, rifles, carbines, submachine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns not exceeding caliber 7.62MM which have fully automatic mode; and Class-B Light weapons which refer to weapons designed for use by two (2) or more persons serving as a crew, or rifles and machine guns exceeding caliber 7.62MM such as heavy machine guns, handheld under barrel and mounted grenade launchers, portable anti-aircraft guns, portable anti-tank missile and rocket systems, portable launchers of anti-aircraft missile systems, and mortars of a caliber of less than 100MM.

It says that failure to renew the registration of a Class-A light weapon or comply with the standards and requirements for renewal purposes shall be a ground for the cancellation of the registration.

In case of revocation of license and cancellation of registration, the individual concerned shall surrender the weapons herein mentioned to the nearest police station within thirty (30) days, except when there are other justifying circumstances. Otherwise, he/she could be charged for violation of the law.

RA 10591 says that the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully acquire or possess a small arm; the penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed if three (3) or more small arms or Class-A light weapons are unlawfully acquired or possessed by any person;
the penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully acquire or possess a Class-A light weapon; and the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully acquire or possess a Class-B light weapon.

It also says that the penalty of one (1) degree higher than that provided in the law shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully possess any firearm under any or combination of the following conditions: loaded with ammunition or inserted with a loaded magazine; fitted or mounted with laser or any gadget used to guide the shooter to hit the target such as thermal weapon sight (TWS) and the like; fitted or mounted with sniper scopes, firearm muffler or firearm silencer; accompanied with an extra barrel; and converted to be capable of firing full automatic bursts.)