Press Release
September 8, 2021

Comprehensive Firearms Law and its Revised IRR, still adequate to prevent repeat of AK-47 mess

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) and authorized firearms and ammunitions dealers are in consensus that Republic Act No. 10591 (RA 10591), otherwise known as the "Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act," combined with the stricter Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) signed by Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa when he was the chief of the PNP, are more than enough safeguards to prevent illegal arms deal.

This developed on Tuesday during the public hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, chaired by Dela Rosa, which inquired into the missing 1,004 AK-47 rifles allegedly sold to members of the New People's Army (NPA) with the aid of some PNP officials. The alleged illegal deals were made in a string of twenty three transactions from 2011 to shortly before the May 2013 elections.

RA 10591 was enacted in May 29, 2013. The Revised IRR was then signed and approved by Dela Rosa on April 23, 2018.

Under RA 10591, application for ownership of firearms in the name of a juridical entity like private security agencies and mining corporations, shall only be made by its President, Vice President, Treasurer and Corporate Secretary as duly authorized by their Board of Directors.

Prior to this law and its revised IRR, any person may represent private juridical entity in their application for ownership and licenses of firearms before the PNP-Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO). This old regulation was allegedly taken advantage by the perpetrators in the anomalous AK-47 deals.

After hearing the comments of the stakeholders that the revised IRR of the said law is already strict enough and will prevent the recurrence of the 2014 selling of rifles to the communists, Dela Rosa opined: "as far as policy is concerned, we are in unison when we say that RA 10591 is enough measure to counter or to stop this kind of issue from happening in the future. So, tama na itong (RA)10591, mukhang istriktong-istrikto na."

The former top cop and now senator from Davao conducted the inquiry based on Senate Resolution No. 811, which he filed, in line with President Duterte's request made during his State-of-the-Nation-Address last July.

"For the record, itong 23 (firearms) transactions between 2011 and 2013, (was) before the enactment nitong RA10591. Meaning, the cure for this controversy, the cure for this problem is RA10591," he said.

In 2014, the news broke out regarding the missing high-powered firearms in the PNP Headquarters that were later on reported to have been found in the possession of NPA rebels.

"Hindi ko talaga matanggap na nagamit ang ating kapulisan upang magkaroon ng armas ang mga komunista na maari pang magamit at makapatay sa maraming inosenteng Pilipino," Dela rosa said.

Twin Pines, a registered firearms dealer, was the importer and owner of the 1,004 AK-47 rifles sold and licensed to CARAGA Security Agency, Isla Security Agency, Claver Mineral Development Corporations, and JTC Mineral Mining Corporations.

In 2014, the Criminal and Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), then headed by current Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, discovered in its investigation that the one who received the 247 rifles on behalf of JTC Mining was a certain Isidro Lozada, owner/proprietor of Caraga Security Agency, who also purchased 269 units of AK-47 rifles and withdrew AK-47 rifles for Isla Security Agency and Claver Mineral Development Corporation.

The CIDG investigation report said employees of A-Zone, a branch of Twin Pines Inc., also alleged that Lozada had purchased around 135,000 rounds of ammunition (cal. 7.62) and 1,320 magazines for AK-47 rifles.

Graft charges against former and incumbent high-ranking police officials allegedly connected in the illegal AK-47 transactions are pending in the Sandiganbayan.

News Latest News Feed