Albayalde orders Garins to surrender all their guns

MANILA, Philippines – Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde ordered Thursday, December 27, Iloilo 1st District Representative Oscar "Richard" Garin Jr and his father, Guimbal town, Iloilo Mayor Oscar Garin "to immediately turn in all their registered firearms" to the Philippine National Police after their privilege to own guns were cancelled.

With the revocation of their gun licenses, the PNP can confiscate all the firearms owned by the two Garins, said Albayalde.

In his statement Thursday, Albayalde said the PNP was cancelling "all Permits to Carry Firearms outside of Residence (PTCFOR) and License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF)" it issued to the two Garins "as an administrative action to their involvement in a criminal case involving the use of firearms."

Albayalde was referring to the incident where the father and son allegedly assaulted and held at gunpoint Guimbal cop Police Officer III Federico Macaya on Wednesday,  December 26.

The PNP is filing criminal complaints against the Garins over the incident. The police spot report said the Garins summoned Macaya at around 3:20 am on Wednesday, then allegedly proceeded to disarm, cuff, and hold him at gunpoint.

In a statement, Albayalde said the “administrative action” was part of the criminal complaint to be filed by the PNP.  

Under Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, the PNP regulates the ownership and possession of firearms. The law empowers Albayalde or his  authorized representative to "revoke, cancel or suspend a firearms license or permit" if the said guns were used in committing a crime or offense. 

Albayalde said the PNP’s firearms information database showed that Iloilo congressman Garin owned 11 firearms, 3 of which had expired licenses. Meanwhile, Mayor Garin was the registered owner of 8 firearms, 5 of which also had expired licenses.

“All these firearms are now subject to confiscation upon revocation of their License to Own and Possess Firearms, effectively making them ineligible to own and possess guns,” he said.

The top cop added Macaya would file cases against the Garins for physical injuries, assault upon a person in authority, alarm and scandal, grave coercion, and grave threats. 

The PNP’s Legal Service was also ordered to provide legal assistance to Macaya in his complaint and possible counter-charges by the respondents, Albayalde said.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte also ordered the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)  to file charges against the father and son over the incident.

Apart from this, Albayalde said he has also endorsed to the National Police Commission (Napolcom), Western Visayas police regional director Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao’s recommendation to strip Mayor Garin of his police powers. Such powers allowed the mayor to deploy, choose or reassign police personnel in his area.

The PNP likewise said it was investigating the alleged failure of Guimbal Police Chief Senior Inspector Antonio Monreal Jr, along with other cops present, to take “immediate action” regarding the incident. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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