Back in March, TTAG pinged readers re: Philippine’s pre-election gun ban. We warned that the country’s gun ban—an order created and enforced without parliamentary approval or oversight—was a prelude to an complete and outright ban on all civilian firearms. It was one of those “road to hell paved with good intentions” deals. That didn’t work. Anti-government violence lead to martial law. Fresh news out of Manilla reveal that our suspicions that the gun ban was a cover for an indefinite government crackdown on its political opponents were not without foundation. “Gun-related road rage cases and the culture of violence in troubled areas, especially in Mindanao, will be used by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in asserting the need for the extension of firearms ban in the country,” mb.com.ph reports. PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa dismissed opposition to an ongoing gun ban as a failure to communicate . . .
“A number of people are scared because we term it as a gun ban. Actually it is not a total gun ban because some persons are still allowed to carry guns but under circumstances or control.”
Does any of this sound familiar? In fact, the top cop’s defense of the not-really-a-gun ban gun ban—due to expire on June 9—takes the form of standard issue gun control rhetoric.
What we want to implement are measures to control if not eradicate the presence of firearms in the streets and unauthorized areas or places because we cannot allow our country to have a proliferation of firearms of which we all know are the main instruments of violence here in the Philippines.
Since the gun ban was implemented, the PNP has arrested nearly 3,000 people (including soldiers and policemen) and confiscated 2,500 firearms. I make that something less than one gun per person. Which means that some of the people arrested under the gun ban didn’t have guns. Go figure. Or, if your Philippine, don’t . . .
“There now appears to be some sectors that do not want a gun ban maybe let’s check the background of these sectors or these individuals that are giving unnecessary comments,” said Verzosa.