Stiffer penalties for firearms smuggling sought
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - December 13, 2013 - 1:48pm

MANILA, Philippines - A lawmaker has filed a measure that would impose stiffer penalties for firearms smuggling.

Under House Bill 2696 or the proposed "Anti-Firearms Smuggling Act of 2013," smugglers of firearms will face 12 to 20 years or even life imprisonment and fines of one to five million pesos.

"Smuggling of firearms is a dangerous but profitable criminal enterprise. It not only threatens public safety and national security but also endangers and oftentimes, results in loss of lives of innocent persons," said Cavite Fifth District Rep. Roy Loyola, the bill's author.

Loyola said the owners of smuggled firearms could commit more serious offenses such as murder, homicide, rebellion, piracy, kidnapping and armed robbery.

He lamented that the Philippines is rated second in terms of the number of firearms that are smuggled into Japan.

The lawmaker further claimed that the country is a producer and trans-shipper of smuggled firearms and is also a final destination of smuggled firearms.

"The growing illicit trade can be attributed to the lack of anti-firearms laws in the country, our long coastline and the great demand for them by criminal syndicates, Muslim secessionists and other militant groups. The firearms and ammunitions used by the Abu Sayaff are believed to have been smuggled into the Philippines via the southern backdoor," Loyola said.

The bill defines firearms smuggling as the act of any person who shall import, export, or assist in doing so, any firearm or parts, explosives, ammunition or machine and equipment or tools for the manufacture of firearms.

"It shall also likewise refer to the act of any person who, contrary to law, shall receive, conceal, buy, sell or in any manner facilitate the transportation, concealment or sale of said firearms or parts thereof, explosive or ammunition or machine, implements or explosives after importation, knowing the same to have been imported contrary to law," the bill said.

ABU SAYAFF ANTI-FIREARMS SMUGGLING ACT BILL CAVITE FIFTH DISTRICT REP FIREARMS LOYOLA ROY LOYOLA SMUGGLED SMUGGLING UNDER HOUSE BILL
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