Tuesday May, 28 2024 11:11:22 AM

Military bishop opposes rifle ownership for civilians

Local News • 05:45 AM Sun Mar 10, 2024
Ferdinand Patinio
Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio (COURTESY OF CBCP)

MANILA -- Military Ordinariate of the Philippines Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio on Saturday said he does not support the decision of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to allow civilians to own semi-automatic rifles. 

“Personally, I would not want to have our civilians be allowed to possess semi-automatic rifles or any rifles for that matter," he said in an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas. 

"We are a poor country. Why will we need those guns? Give them to authorities. If civilians are allowed to have guns, it might cause another big problem," added Florencio. 

The military ordinariate cited as an example the United States where mass shootings frequently happen. 

“In America, why do they have such a problem? Because they have a very lax law, wherein anyone can own a gun without that responsibility over a deadly weapon," he said. 

The PNP has amended the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, to allow civilians to register cal. 7.62mm semi-automatic rifles and guns with lower calibers. 

In a press briefing last week, Senator Francis Tolentino said authorities "should choose the right people who can possess  and carry this kind of gun." 

Senators Imee Marcos and Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile warned against a rise in criminality, arms smuggling and violence, especially in the 2025 midterm elections. (PNA)

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