Just my opinion
by Raïssa Robles
President Rodrigo Duterte believes he has found the solution to “tanim bala”, one of the most embarrassing and politically damaging issues faced by the previous administration.
Simply put, match the bullet with the bearer.
Supt. Aplasca was quoted by ABS-CBN News as saying that upon the orders of Duterte, passengers caught with ammunition in their baggage would be questioned. The airport police would determine then and there if the passenger belonged to any terrorist or criminal group.
If they don’t, the bullet will be confiscated and they would be allowed to continue their travel.
Netizens praised Duterte’s solution and called transport secretary Jun Abaya of the former administration “tanga” (stupid) for not doing what Duterte did.
The solution was simple, one netizen even said quoting a Public Attorney’s Office lawyer: “The bullet must be with a gun to make a case!”
ABS-CBN News then quoted Supt. Aplasca as saying:
“Laglag-bala modus operandi is a thing of the past and we assure the public that they no longer worry that they will miss their flight or get arrested at our airport for possession of an ammunition.”
“Tanim-bala” cases only landed in the news last year when these became a hot button issue, after the elderly and overseas contract workers were stopped at the airport terminal because bullets were found in their luggage. The bullets, they complained, had been planted there without their knowledge for blackmailing purposes.
Long before that, empty bullet casings were being confiscated from outbound passengers. So much so that signs had been placed in the airport for passengers to stop using empty bullet shells as amulets. Some even used live bullets.
Now, I’m not a lawyer but there seem to be two things wrong with that solution.
First, it’s illegal.
On May 29, 2013, Congress approved a comprehensive firearms and ammunition law. You can access the law here. Section g of Article V penalized with prision mayor (from one month, one day to six months in jail) “any person who shall unlawfully acquire or possess ammunition for small arm or Class-A light weapon”.
“Ammunition” is defined as “a complete unfixed unit consisting of a bullet, gunpowder, cartridge case and primer or loaded shell for use in any firearm”. This means, one cannot be arrested for merely possessing empty bullet casings. However, the casings are confiscated because in other foreign airports, mere possession of such empty casings could be grounds for detention and deportation.
If that person happened to also illegally possess a small arm, then the penalty for illegal possession of the bullet would be “absorbed” and that person would just be punished with illegal possession of a weapon, which carried a heavier penalty. This section clearly shows that a person caught with ammunition but without a gun could be punished with a jail term.
By December 2013, the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) were issued. You can see it here. That IRR explained Section G in simpler terms:
“g) The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully acquire or possess ammunition for a small arm. If the violation of this paragraph is committed by the same person charged with the unlawful acquisition or possession of a small arm, the former violation shall be absorbed by the latter;”
The law does not make an exception for grandmothers or non-terrorists or OCWs. It clearly states “any person who shall unlawfully acquire or possess ammunition for a small arm”.
If you don’t have any permit to carry a firearm or ammunition outside your home, then you fall under “any person”.
Second, what President Duterte has ordered the airport police to do could have dangerous consequences. They are now required to make snap judgments on whether a certain person is not a terrorist nor a member of a criminal gang.
In other words, the same people you couldn’t trust earlier with planted ammunition, you’re now vesting with serious profiling powers.
At the very least, to lower the incidents of stopping people at the airport in order to avoid tanim-bala arrests from being reported in the media, the airport police might be tempted to look the other way.
That would be dangerous, what with terrorist incidents rising in many parts of the world.
With just one bullet, one could make a small improvised explosive device:
What’s wrong with just confiscating the bullet and letting them board the airplane?
Because the current law does not allow it.
Congress has to amend the law first. And insert safeguards so that terrorists will not use it.
So, let me ask the lawyers out there: Is President Duterte violating the law by ordering a stop to ‘tanim bala’ arrests?
Duterte is not breaking the law if he orders an end to Tanim Bala, simply because Tanim Bala (“dropping bullets”) is illegal.
The problem however is that when bullets are ‘found’, it isnt clear if those were ‘dropped’ by NAIA personnel or indeed brought in by the passenger.
As people bringing in ammunition are breaking the law ofcourse there should be trial and punishment. The problem however is that due to the well known Tanim Bala practises the proof that someone brought them in on purpose becomes very weak.
So if Duterte orders the bullet to be confiscated and the passenger continue his travel, Duterte still isnt breaking the law, but rather come with a solution for a problem (getting proof) that is caused by NAIA personnel (the Tanim Bala practice).
So.. as long as the passenger is not indicted, he gets no trial and therefore he is not guilty in legal sense so there is no obligation for prison mayor
the problem is, the law still needs to be changed.
Oplan Double Barrel-the Shotgun Effect!
Putting in context the War on Drugs wage by DU30…
Bakit merong War on Drugs?
Ang katotohanan eh halos Narco-State na ang Pilipinas, kasi institutionalized na ang droga. Ibig sabihin simula sa mga Barangay Captains, mga Mayors, Gobernadors, mga Congressmen, mga Senador pati na ang ibang miyembro ng Gabinete eh involved o nakikinabang na humamig ng pera galling sa illegal na droga. Sa hanay ng Military at Police eh marami ang involved simula sa mga P01, Kapitan, hanggang mga Heneral eh mga protector ng mga Drug Lords o ang iba ay sila mismo ang Drug Lords!
Dahil ang tingin ng Du30 government eh National Security issue ang Illegal na Droga, which I agree, eh kailangang labanan na parang giyera. Kapag giyera ang involved na lumaban dyan ay lahat ng hanay ng ehekutibo pati na AFP at PNP.
Ang proposed na solusyon ni DU30 at ni Bato eh ang Oplan Double Barrel. Ang pahayag ni Bato ang kanilang mga targets ay ang mga Pushers sa ibaba ng food chain ng Illegal Drug Trade at ang mga Druglords at mga Narco-Generals at mga Pulitikong protector na nasa itaas ng hierarchy ng Illegal Drug Trade.
Sa Davao City ang ginamit ni Du30 at Bato ay ang Single Barrel. Heto yung mga target eh mga pipitsuging mga Pushers at users, pero walang druglords o mga protector na naitumba or nakulong. Pati mga inosente eh tinamaan ng de-sabog! Remember ang pagiging sabog ay hindi criminal dahil ang pagiging user eh pansariling choice at di dapat maging krimen-base sa American Law, pero sa atin grey area ang pagiging user.
Ngayong naging Presidente na si Du30, alam ni Du30 na kung ang Single barrel lang ang gagamitin eh ineffective yan dahil yung ulo ng monster Drug Menace eh hindi mapuputol. Dahil na rin sa nilagyan ng patong sa ulo si DU30 at si Bato ng mga Druglords at ng ibang Narco-generals eh napilitan si DU30 na baguhin ang paglaban sa Illegal na Droga.
Nabanggit ko na noong hunyo na merong Purge of July na mangyayari dahil maikling panahon lang ang ipingako ni DU30 sa sambayanang Pilipino at si DU30 eh mataas ang Pride Chicken at ayaw mapahiya kaya kailang papatunyan nya na ang kanyang mga pangako ay hindi mapapako.
So umusad yung Oplan Double Barrel!
Pero may flaws ang Double Barrel operation kasi nangingibabaw pa rin ang tinatawag na Double Standard. Kapag pipitsuging suspected pusher, eh tumba agad! Kapag Narco-Generals, eh report muna at makipag-usap kay Bato ay may iyakan blues pa. Dadaan sa proceso ang paglitis sa mga Narco-Generals!
Ang bulok na style ng mga Pulis sa Oplan Double Barrel eh rubout agad yung mga pipitsuging pushers at ang excuse ng mga pulis ay nanlaban daw at nang-agaw ng baril! Alam natin na 99 porsyento eh hindi nanlaban o nang-agaw ang mga itnumbang mga pushers pero talagang inilikida lang dahil sa iyon ang template ng mga pulis na patayin nay an dahil sa ibat-ibang motibo ng mga pulis. Ang isang motibo ay para maglaganap ng takot sa mga pushers at users na nasa order of battle sila at isa rin na motibo ay para ilikida na para hindi na ikanta ang mga pulis na kanilang mga ‘boss’ na syang nag-su-supply ng droga na recycled. Survival ang labanan.
May inilabas si DU30 ng Organizational Chart ng Illegal Drug Organization na merong mga Pulis at Militar at ibang pipitsuging mga mayors, pero wala doon ang mga Gobernador, Congressmen at ibang Senador na mga kasabwat sa droga. Pwedeng strategy ito ni DU30 na engage the targets individually at hindi sabay-sabay pero alarming din na pweding mapakiusapan si Du30 na hwag ng targetin ang mga Pulitko kapalit sa suporta sap ag-amyenda ng konstitusyon at suporta sa administrasyon total pagkatapos ng purge eh magkakaron na ng improvement laban sa Illegal Drugs at pwede ng may moratorium dahil sa dami ng itniumbang mga pipitsuging pushers thereby bilib na ang taumbayan na may nagawa na si DU30 at si Bato. Pero dapat mabahala si DU30 dahil ang taumbayan eh uhaw sa hustisya at dugo ng mga drug lords at mga protectorsnila kaya dapat may ipakita ni DU30 na pati sa mga Narco-Generals at mga Pulitiko eh dapat may maitumba rin, otherwise ang taumbayan eh baka umalsa laban kay DU30 dahil sa selectivity at dugo lang ng mga pipitsugin ang inialay sa taumbayan!
Nang pangalanan ni Bato ang operasyon laban sa Droga as Oplan Double Barrel, eh alam ko nan a it is really fitting kasi ang Shotgun Effect eh siguradong lalabas. Ang shotgun pag ipinutok mo sa grupo ng tao eh pati yung ibang mga inosente eh pwedeng tamaan dahil ang shot gun ay hindi precise sa pagtarget ng kalaban. Kaya flawed din ang Operasyon na ito dahil tatamaan ang ibang inosente!
Dahil sa ambisyosong schedule na ipinangako ni DU30, ang weapon na ginamit nila eh de-sabog.
Ang problema nito kahit hindi pusher ay tatamaan dahil yung user eh sabog lang!
Minsan ang mga ginagamit na mga termino eh parang nahuhulaan na natin ang pwedeng maging epekto:
1. General Bato laban sa Batong Droga! (Shabu)
2. Oplan Double Barrel laban sa mga Sabog! De-Sabog laban sa mga Sabog!
3. DU30’s dirty war against dirty drug menace!
Pero may excuse na naman si DU30 kasi he framed it as War against Illegal Drugs! Ano ang excuse nya aber?
Heto: In War there will be casualties of war, including non-combatants!
As a nation in state of desperation, we usually turn our heads to mishaps and abuses of the Police and DU30’s culpability just to justify that the end justifies the means!
And DU30 knows the majority of Filipinos so well! But I also warn DU30, Filipinos could take away what they giveth once they realized that DU30 is only targeting the petty criminals and let the big fishes get away. If DU30 is not able to put in prison the Narco-Generals and the Politicians who are protectors of Druglords, then the support for DU30 will evaporate quickly! If this happens, DU30 will have a revelation and a change of heart, he will sacrifice the Marcoses to appease the disgruntled nation!
My worry is if DU30 is cornered, he will scrap the Operation Double Barrel, ala-de-Sabog and replace it with Operation Explosion- Ala-Pasabog to declare Martial Law.
Thus from sabog, to de-sabog, to Pa-sabog!
This is what I am looking for to hear. I was concerned that you really are applauding the killings of the innocent and not so innocent in the country.
I can’t join the rest of Pinoys happily cheering and clapping for the killings. I don’t condone behavior of evil drug users, as you said some are only users while others are only “small franchise drug sellers”, it is like just buying or selling stolen goods or merchandise, but how do you define bad people ?
Similarly, drug users spread and are induced by the big wealthy drug traffickers , so much so that these generals and Chines migrants are more liable for severe punishment than the mere drug users. except when they are already beyond medical intervention and now a criminal menace to society.
What happened to the death by hanging, are bullets cheaper to use or those promulgating it cannot stomach the grisly sight or too lazy to do the act of tying and roping the criminals by the head?
The killings are bad, esp if the intention is just to please the nation, kahit sino na lang ang tamaan is really bad. What’s happening is gaya -gaya na lang because “ANYTHING THAT IS PERMITTED, INCREASES “. It is the intention that should be the crux of the matter.
sometimes, looking at those drug users and drug pushers that surrender to the police, I’m reminded of the hakot crowd that played prominently last election. apparently, some of those that surrenders have no IDs and may not be who they said they are.
real drugs addicts don’t admit they’re addicted to drugs, or that they have drug problems. it’s society that is having problems and cannot accept them. those that surrendered were not even tested if they are indeed drug users and are positive to drugs, no blood test taken, and not even simple eye test done.
usually, the eyes of drug users cannot accommodate to light, that is, if light (flashlight) is shown into their pupils, the pupils don’t contract or react to light, and stay dilated. then, their eyes cannot follow the movement of a finger held about 12 inches away. sometimes though, it is only one eye that can follow the movement of a finger side to side and up and down, the other eye stares into space.
and, as for the supposedly drug addicts again, they were so orderly sa pila nila, orderly sa pag-upo, when they are supposed to be listless, wanting to go to the toilet often, wanting to smoke, malikot and cannot stay put for long and cannot concentrate as well. their nerves are supposed to be frayed, and yet there they are, orderly ang pila at ang galing pang lumagda ng mga signatures nila. not one missed the dotted line.
@Parekoy, in your penultimate paragraph telling us that if cornered, Du30 may resort to ML – I believe it won’t happen since many legislators are joining the PDP-LABAN bandwagon and those remaining have shown legislative support.
President Duterte is hell-bent in eradicating the No. 1 menace to society, and at this stage of his reign, he lately named the drug lords, mostly chinese-sounding, and soon the LGU executives will follow.
With his state of health and advancing age, I don’t think he’s even entertaining the idea of prolonging his 6-year term like what FM did at age 55. What I’m worry is his zealousness to change our unitary system of govt to federalism/parliamentary style where the moneyed group can afford to support/gather the loyalty of other groups and be assured of the premiership of the country by himself or family.
Unfortunately the sipsips and turncoats of our Mambabatas wouldmlike to grant DU30 emergency powers to fight illegal drugs and this is a dry run for Martial Law.
DU30 might not want to have a second term or lengthen his term but the issue is control and be able to do what he thinks is right for the country and Martial Law is so tempting and DU30 won’t think twice siezing ultimate power to justify the end!
Federalism is just a formality of our existing Feudalism where Dynasts rule. Federalism is not suited to a country like ours since e are clannish and it would be a recipe to breakup the country once some of the of the Federal States become militarily(covertly thru Malaysia’s and Arab backed ‘states’) will most likely succeed, vs the weak central government.
Du30 though announced that he will send the Federalism to Filipinos decision thru Plebiscite and most likely fail since most of the Filipinos are against breaking up the country and aware of the ramifications of legal Feudalism thru Dynasties control. But it migh succeed if the election is rigged!
DU30 is testing US patience by declaring that Abu Sayyaf as not a terrorist group. Another issue that DU30 is courting the ire of the US is by being cozy with China.
DU30 is walking a tightrope, but I want him to succed in the fight against Illegal Drugs and Criminality but through legal means or bordering legal by making sure that those liquidated are really the guilty ones, but the downside is that this shady method might be effective at first but most likely abused in the future.
It is so common that the poor are the ones losing their members and currently the powerful are still under investigation.
Who said life is fair?
the poor could be hit 2x. 1st, they willing go to police stations and signed away their rights. drug addicts and drug users kuno sila and willingly incriminate themselves. they were not given legal counsel or warned that what they signed and have admitted could be used against them.
2ndly, down the track when things settled down, and them poor want to get jobs, they would have to get nbi clearance. and with having drugs already recorded, employers may think 2x of employing them. many employers think that drug users, recent and previous, cannot be trusted. same if by good luck and good fortune, the poor gets to travel abroad. many countries don’t welcome drug users, recent and previous, and send them back home.
to expunge a drug record, a visit to a judge may be in order. and that may cost money.
as regards federalism, I have a sister that lives in australia. federal ang govt nila. and for the last 2yrs, they have 3 different prime ministers! namely: kevin rudd, julia gillard, then malcolm turnbull. there’s no vice president, but there is opposition party.
apparently, within the prime minister’s own rank, anyone can challenge the prime minister. and if the challenger gets the right number of supporters, then the prime minister is deposed. and to consolidate his rule, the challenger calls off an election. sometimes, before election can be called, the challenger gets challenged anew and thusly deposed.
Presumptive Speaker Alvarez filed/may file a con-con bill to give way to federalism as espoused by Du30 in his campaign.
IMHO, federalism is a short-cut to Malacanang for the Marcoses since they have billions of dollars at their disposal to make bobong marcos the first prime minister.
Why change our present unitary system of govt where the national elected officials are directly voted by the citizenry? Just because the president has committed to BBM?
NO to federalism
no to federalism for me as well.
in case digong’s push for federalism do go through, and he won the numbers game, we can be assured there is going to be strong and robust opposition party. it’s not going to be easy for bong marcos. it has been proven that money is not enough for him to buy a seat, and it can be proven again.
still, it’s going to be lot of money spent, the push for federalism expenses. that, and digong’s promise of salary increases for public servants, the police, nurses and more money for retirees, tax payers money for npa, etc. digong would have to borrow heavily from china, the interest beyond belief. with his reputation of being belligerent and ardent supporter of those doing kidnapping for ransom, international monetary fund, imf, may not lend him money.
no to federalism. make democracy work instead, I quote that from Leona.
Kung walang droga, walang korap!
kung walang korap, walang droga, walang mahirap!
Yan dapat new slogan. Aside from i will kill you and putang ina.
used to when putting address on a letter nvelop, PI stand for Philippine Island. Now? hehe.
Sana lang talaga mauna ang malalaking isda eh ang nadadale, mga bolinao, dilis, balaw. Ano bang gamit nilang lambat? Yong maninipis, maliliit butas pang dalampasigan lang.
Kung walang korap, walang droga, walang mahirap.
Gains from thailand’s bloody war on drugs proved fleeting.
by marvin bionat
july 8, 2016 9:33 am
Dick S. O'Rosary says
if you think it is a violation, file a case for Mandamus at a court and argue it there. Thats how its done. Need I remind you that a lot of the policies of past administrations were struck down as illegal when brought to court. Even PNoy’s EO No. 1.
I’ll leave it to the lawyers to do that.
But what I’m afraid of, is that the airport examiners might look the other way when it comes to looking for bullets in the luggage.