Hugpong asks Nogie:
Are you going to war?
The Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod has expressed alarm over
the volume of firearms the camp of Speaker Prospero Nograles
has acquired wondering if themayoral candidate is going to war.
In what appears to be the concrete face of “political terrorism” that Nograles has brought to Davao City’s political landscape, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has granted gun ban exemptions to two sons of Nograles and other personalities identified with their campaign machinery including Pastor M. Alcover, Jr.
In a certificate of authority issued by the Committee on Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) chaired by Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle, the Comelec authorized the Nograles brothers, Alcover and other Nograles allies to “bear, carry or transport firearms and other deadly weapons during election period,” which is from January 2010 to June 09, 2010.
Karlo Alexei B. Nograles is granted exemption to carry an Armscor pistol .45 and a Walter PPK pistol .380 while his brother Jericho Jonas B. Nograles is also exempted to carry a Tavor 21 rifle 5.56mm and three CZ-75 pistol 9mm.
Alcover, on the other hand, is exempted to carry a Glock 19 pistol 9mm, a Desert Eagle pistol 357, a Carbine rifle .30 cal and an AK-47 rifle 7.62.
Alcover, representative of the partylist Anad, along with retired Army general Jovito Palparan, representative of the Bantay partylist, is openly campaigning for Nograles.
At least five other people closely identified with the Nograleses are also exempted to carry assorted firearms including an Intratec Luger automatic rifle 9mm, Colt pistol.45, Ithaca pistol .45 and Norinco pistol .45. They are Teresito G. Sasi, Gregorio J. Labastida, Luis R. Gabrinao, Filamer L. Sac and Joel P. Gonzales. Retired General Jovito Palparan, another close ally of Nograles was not included in the list.
The Tavor 21 granted to Jericho is an Israeli bullpup assault rifle chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition with a selective fire system, selecting between semi-automatic mode, burst mode, and full automatic fire mode.
The name “T.A.R. 21” stands for “Tavor Assault Rifle – 21st Century”. It is the standard issued weapon of the Israel’s Givati Brigade (since August 2006) and Golani Brigade (since August 2008) with the Nahal Brigade receiving it by 2010. The M.T.A.R. 21 (Micro Tavor) was recently selected as the future assault rifle of the Israeli Defense Forces, and within the next few years it will become the standard Israeli infantry weapon.
The AK-47 granted to Alcover is a selective fire, gas operated 7.62mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. The AK-47 fires the 7.62x39mm cartridge which produces significant wounding including remote wounding effects known as hydrostatic shock. The original AK-47 was one of the first true assault rifles. Also, the Desert Eagle of Alcover is a high caliber pistol known for its reliability in rugged or combat action. It was once the official side-arm of Israeli soldiers.
On the other hand, the Intratec Luger is a sub-machine gun used for closed combat operation. The CZ -75 pistol is a shooting competition favorite while the Glock pistol, because of its size, is the most handy and can be easily tucked and hidden in the waist or in small bags.
Aside from the Nograles brothers, Alcover and other personalities officially listed in the certificate, other armed men suspected to be with the camp of Nograles are often spotted in rallies and sorties in various places in the city.Karlo appears to be the only local candidate in Davao City who sought and was granted a gun ban exemption.He, along with his brother and supporters, was granted with the exemptions by Comelec based on the certification made by the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives.
The certification specified that Nograles brothers, Alcover and others in the list submitted to the Comelec “are in the regular plantilla of the agency (House of Representative), performing law enforcement functions and are receiving compensation for their services in our office and the firearms described are duly registered.”
The wordings used in the certification does not specify whether Karlo, who is supposed to be the Speaker’s chief of staff, actually undertakes intelligence work or is a security escort of his father.
Comelec Resolution No. 8714 promulgated on December 16, 2009 reiterated the gun ban provisions embodied under Republic Act No. 7166 or An Act Providing for Synchronized National And Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms enacted on November 26, 1991.
Section 32 of the law provides that during the election period, no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places, including any building, street, park, private vehicle or public conveyance, even if licensed to possess or carry the same, unless authorized in writing by the Commission. The issuance of firearms licenses shall be suspended during the election period.
“Only regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies of the Government who are duly deputized in writing by the Commission for election duty may be authorized to carry and possess firearms during the election period: Provided, That, when in the possession of firearms, the deputized law enforcement officer must be: (a) in full uniform showing clearly and legibly his name, rank and serial number, which shall remain visible at all times, and (b) in the actual performance of this election duty in the specific area designed by the Commission,” the law provides.
Comelec Resolution No. 8714 defines law enforcement agencies of the government to include the personnel of the Office of the sergeant-At-Arms (OSAA) of the Senate or the House of Representatives and the OSAA-certified / designated senators/congressmen’s security escorts.
In granting the certificate of authority, the Tagle-led CBFSP issued a condition that the House personnel granted with exemptions such as Karlo and Alcover “are in agency-prescribed uniform with their agency-issued identification card, prominently displayed and visible at all times, showing clearly their names and positions while in the actual performance of their officials duties, or in going to or returning from their residences/barracks of officials stations.”