R7 police chief recommends cancellation of gun licenses of guv’s son, pals-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
THE son of suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and his friends may be forced to hand over their firearms to the police.
This, after Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr. yesterday recommended that the PNP head office in Camp Crame revoke the gun licenses of Pablo “Paulo” Garcia III and his friends, Jose Primitivo Cal and Tonyson Lee.
Lawyer Christina Garcia-Frasco, Paulo’s sister, told reporters in a press conference last night that her brother has not violated any law to justify the cancellation of his license to own a gun.
“Bisan na-file na nila ang ilang baseless complaints, wala pa man magsugod ang formal investigation niana (Even if they had filed the complaint, there is no formal investigation yet),” said Frasco.
Governor Garcia, on the other hand, asked PNP Chief Alan Purisima in a letter to check the allegedly unethical acts of Garbo.
She accused Garbo of violating the PNP’s Ethical Doctrine Manual, which requires the police to “respect and protect human dignity and uphold the human rights of all persons” and prohibits extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, any act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Garcia-Frasco said Paulo’s life would be at risk if his license and permit to carry a gun are revoked.
Garbo said that under PNP Standard Operating Procedure 13, a firearm license of a person with a pending criminal case for violating the Revised Penal Code or any special law shall be canceled.
The firearms will be placed under the custody of court or any government agency until the case will be resolved, he said.
Paulo, Cal and Lee were charged with direct assault for allegedly attacking a police officer last Dec. 19 during a commotion at the Capitol grounds.
Supt. Rex Derilo, head of PRO 7’s Firearms and Explosives Section (FES), told reporters that the three own high- and low-powered firearms.
Paulo owns seven, Cal has three and Lee has four guns.
Derilo said that if the PNP chief approves the recommendation to revoke, the three must surrender their guns or face sanctions.
“Owning a firearm in this country is not a right. It's a privilege,” he added.
He said Paulo, Cal and Lee may file an appeal with Camp Crame.
Governor Garcia said Garbo allegedly caused her, her family and supporters trauma by sending a Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) team to the Capitol on the night of Dec. 22, on Dec.30 and last Saturday morning.
She said Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) was also seen at the Capitol grounds last Saturday when the Swat team was around.
Osmeña is one of Garcia’s vocal critics.
“Imagine the indescribable fear and panic it created among my family, office staff and supporters who have been keeping vigil at the Governor’s Office where I stand firm to question an illegal suspension order before the proper forum,” read Garcia’s letter to Purisima.
The Commission on Human Rights in Manila and Cebu City, as well as the Office of the Vice President, were furnished copies of the letter.
Garcia said she had been unable to get a good night’s sleep at the Capitol for fear of being forcibly taken by the police.
“Anaa kanunay ang hulga (There is a constant threat),” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 08, 2013.