MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is calling for the amendment of the law on illegal discharge of firearms. This comes in reaction to numerous reported cases of indiscriminate firing of guns during the celebration of the New Year.
“There is a need to change or amend the provision. The Department of Justice is studying amendments to the Revised Penal Code, which dates back to 1930,” PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said yesterday; as he cited that currently, the illegal discharge of firearms is classified as a less serious crime.
Mayor said that as provided for in the Revised Penal Code, the illegal discharge of firearms is an offense punishable with a menial fine of only P200, or arresto menor, which involves one day to one month behind bars.
Recently, photos and videos showing eight males – some of whom are believed to be minors – from Narvacan, Ilocos Sur indiscriminately firing their guns during the New Year celebrations were uploaded to Facebook. These images quickly went viral on the Internet.
The identities of the suspects in the photos and videos are still being established, Mayor said; as he added that the men have been charged with causing alarm and scandal.
The police spokesperson disclosed that the PNP plans to push a proposal stipulating that provisions governing the illegal discharge of firearms be separate from the existing law, in light of the possible grave consequences indiscriminate firing may have on victims of stray bullets.