Guv Spines’ superfluous gun ban
By Ermin F. Garcia Jr.
AFTER the bodyguards of the two top elected officials of Tayug figured in a shoot-out, Guv Spines promptly issued the order. Ban the guns in public!
It could have been the proper response except for some minor details. First, guns used for criminal purposes are hidden. Second, with or without the order, there is an existing law that prohibits the carrying of guns outside of licensed owners’ residences. Third, many licensed gun-owners have been granted permits to carry their guns outside their residences and are, therefore, entitled precisely to that right. Fourth, there are police officers who moonlight as bodyguards and no one accosts them. Fifth, a passive ban does not discourage ownership or possession of guns.
So, what would a ‘Spines’ Gun Ban’ achieve? Nothing much but simply the hope to confiscate some unlicensed firearms from unsuspecting gunholders. Not even his presence in checkpoints will scare the wits out of the politicians’ bodyguards with criminal minds. After all they’ve got bosses who got the right connections!
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If Guv. Spines wants his gun ban to truly make a difference and serve his constituents, then his implementing guidelines should include:
1) An intensive campaign to search and destroy loose firearms among known and suspected “private armies” of businessmen and politicos; 2) The setting up of an inventory of firearms officially issued to bodyguards of politicians and government officials; 3) Limiting the number of bodyguards that an individual can have and the number of firearms that they can carry at anytime; 4) The revocation of all permits-to-carry issued to Pangasinan residents; 5) Requiring all visiting politicians and government officials with armed security details to secure prior permits before entering the province; 6) The arrest and immediate filing of charges against persons caught in possession of firearms while in the province; and, 7) The banning of off-duty policemen from carrying their government-issued firearms and the immediate filing of administrative charges for violation of the ban.
So if Guv. Spines wants a legacy as the man who made Pangasinan the most peaceful province in the country, he should go beyond the superfluous gun ban. He should consider taking it a step further by organizing and spearheading a “Gunless Society Movement” in the province.
Imagine the impact of such a legacy for Guv. Spines – the former police superintendent-turned-governor who transformed Pangasinan into a gunless society! A record of sorts for the Guinness World of Records!
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THE “WHO’S WHO” AMONG BONUAN SQUATTERS. The plot thickens in the ongoing clearing operations of the Task Force on Housing and Urban Poor Resettlement in Bonuan Binloc in Dagupan City.
Based on the task force’s investigation, the name of Calasiao Mayor Roy Macanlalay surfaced as one of the claimants of some 1,000 sq. meters in spite of the fact that his name does not appear to be one of those in possession of the questionable tax declarations. If he denies this, as I expect he would, he should readily sign a waiver, disowning ownership of the permanent structures in “his” area. This should give the task force the green light to immediately demolish the structures inside “his” beach resthouse.
Then, a little known “Bonuan Binloc Coastal Neighborhood Association Inc.” has come forward ostensibly to protect the interests of its “members”. It turns out that the association cannot present a list of its “members” who we suspect are, in fact, the claimants of parcels of the beach land armed solely with the questionable tax declarations. It’d be interesting to know who among the absentee “rest house owners” got together to form their neighborhood association purposely to fight City Hall.
The formation of the association is another proof enough of the conspiracy launched during the Lim administration to defraud the city government. (Curiously, some of the former members of the task force organized by former Mayor Benjie Lim are now part of the association, ergo, claimants!).
Stay tuned as we gather more info on the “who’s who” in the ongoing clearing operations.
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