"Llamas incident" triggers clamor for anti-gun bill aimed at government officials

GMA News Online reported that Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Ronald Llamas, who said there are threats to his life, faced the media on Monday, October 10, and admitted to owning five firearms-an AK-47, and M-16, and three other handguns. Llamas said that all his guns are licensed.

Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Ronald Llamas says President Noynoy Aquino is not asking him to resign over the AK47 incident.

 

GMA News Online reported that Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Ronald Llamas, who said there are threats to his life, faced the media on Monday, October 10, and admitted to owning five firearms-an AK-47, and M-16, and three other handguns. Llamas said that all his guns are licensed.

 

Llamas is under fire because his AK-47 was discovered after his his official vehicle-a Mitsubishi Montero with the protocol license plate 6*OPA-figured in an accident last week while it was being driven by two of his staff members, Joey Pecson and John Alarcon. The accident happened along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. At the time, Llamas was in Switzerland attending a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR) conference.

 

Interaksyon.com, citing Llamas, said that Pecson and Alarcon were instructed to unload the firearm from the vehicle and secure it. However, he said that "the two staff members neglected to comply with these instructions." He has since fired the them.

 

An ABS-CBNNews.com report quotes Llamas, who said that an internal investigation by the Office of the Political Adviser (OPA) is also underway and that "there was no attempt to cover up the matter." Llamas said he got the AK-47 in June and had it licensed in July after receiving "credible threats" to his life. His neighbors had allegedly alerted him last April or May about a suspicious vehicle parked near his house in Quezon City. In May, the same vehicle, a black Honda Civic, was seen following his daughter who was on her way to school.

 

Nevertheless, other lawmakers like the Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, think Llamas has to answer for the supposed "abuse of privilege." Tino pointed out: "Hindi namin minamaliit yung security threat kay Secretary Llamas. Pero kung lahat ng government official na may banta sa kanilang seguridad ay pagbibitbitin ng AK47 baka maging parang Ampatuan country na tayo dito. Bansa ng mga warlord (We’re not dismissing the security threat on Secretary Llamas. However, if we allow all govenment officials who feel threatened to carry AK47s, we may find ourselves in Ampatuan country. We’d be a nation of warlords)."

 

Thus, another ABS-CBNNews.com report revealed that the Gunless Society of the Philippines expressed support for Senate Bill 129 by Sen. Franklin Drilon and its counterpart measure at the House of Representatives during the hearing of the Senate Public order Committee yesterday, October 11. According to the report, the bill aims to limit the issuance of permits to carry firearms to members of the military, police, and other law enforcement agencies, and to agents of duly licensed private security agencies. Moreover, those with permits will be allowed to carry their guns only when they're in uniform and on duty.

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For more on this story, log on to GMA News Online, Interaksyon.com, and ABS-CBNNews.com.

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