PNP denies 'singling out' NegOr solon in gun license revocation

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

January 31, 2023, 11:42 am

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday denied allegations of singling out Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. in its move to revoke his firearms license.

"Since Cong. Teves' license application was found to have lacking documents, PNP had no choice but to revoke the same. The fact that a deficient license was issued to Cong. Teves does not grant him any 'vested rights.' As mentioned, the license is a mere privilege. If later on, it is found that a gunholder's license was erroneously issued, the PNP is duty-bound to correct the error," the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) said in a statement.

It added that gun license records are reviewed from time to time to verify the compliance of owners.

"As a result of such reviews, a number of licenses have been canceled. Cong. Teves was only one among the many licensees affected. As such, all licensed gun-holders are required to comply with all the rules and guidelines stipulated in their license and any violation therein would result in the revocation of their licenses," it added.

The FEO also said a license to own and possess a firearm is a mere privilege and a right.

FEO chief Col. Paul Kenneth Lucas earlier said Teves submitted spurious documents for the registration of his firearms -- three long and nine short firearms.

The FEO also noted that Teves was duly notified of the deficiencies in his license and that he surrendered the concerned firearms after he was informed of the legal concern.

The PNP has also ordered the recall of Teves' security detail.

"As for the withdrawal of Cong. Teves' police bodyguards, such is only in compliance with the PNP MC (Memorandum Circular) 2019-006 which directs that only PSPG (Police Security and Protection Group) personnel are authorized to render protective security to all government officials including members of the house of representatives," it added.

Teves earlier told his colleagues at the House of Representatives that the PNP is to blame if something bad happens to him following the revocation of the licenses of his guns and the recall of his police security detail.

PNP Public Information Office chief Col. Redrico Maranan said the revocation of gun licenses has nothing to do with Teves' recent tirades against Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.

Maranan said the PNP has been purging its list of gun holders since 2019, where the FEO revoked 240 firearm licenses and confiscated 684 firearms registered under licenses that were found to be involved in various violations and crimes over the past four years.

"The sustained revocations of the license privilege of gun holders followed after the relentless implementation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, meant to ferret out unauthorized gun owners in a bid to boost the country’s law and order condition," Maranan said. (PNA)