DAVAO CITY -- The shoot-to-kill order of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio against gun wielders who endanger the lives of Dabawenyos does not sit well with two judges in the city.
The order of the lady mayor stemmed from the memorandum of Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome directing the Police Regional Office (PRO) Davao Region and the Davao City Police Office to implement the 31-day gun ban in the city, starting on March 1.
However, Judges George Omelio and Rufino Ferraris Jr. expressed their opposition to the mayor's order.
"That's against the law. You cannot put the law in your own hands. If a gun wielder commits unlawful aggression against your life or limb, you can shoot him in self-defense, that is justified," Regional Trial Court Branch 14 Judge Omelio said in a text message to Sun.Star Davao.
Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 7 Ferraris said "they (gun-wielders) should face the court but not to be shot immediately."
Lawyer V. Emmanuel C. Fontanilla, for his part, said, "I think with all due respect, this is contrary to the due process clause unless accompanied with assault to life."
But from what the judges and lawyer are saying, they are on the same mindset as the mayor since what the mayor said was: "Arrest and prosecute or shoot to kill if the lives of the public are in danger during apprehension."
Duterte-Carpio said she issued the order since she will not allow lives of innocent civilians to be in danger because of criminal activities.
She ordered the authorities to go after all who are outside their house and suspected to be carrying a gun.
Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, earlier expressed his opposition to the gun ban, saying such move would only benefit the criminals who bring their unlicensed firearms with or without a gun ban.
In a television news report Friday, the vice mayor urged everybody to follow the gun ban.
"I hope the CPOC (City Peace and Order Council), kay sila yung requesting agency, provides the remedial measures," he said.
Mayor Duterte-Carpio, meanwhile, said the implementation of this month's gun ban is based on previous records that show there is reduced crime rate during a period covered by a gun ban.
"This will be a test case," the mayor said.
She said this is the first time the City implements gun ban aside from those implemented by the Commission on Elections.
She said after this, they will compare its status if crime rates would indeed reduce.
"Tan-awon nato unsa'y epekto sa gun ban. Kung maayo, we can do it again, kung dili maayo, it's not worth doing it again," she said.
The mayor once again reminded everybody that the gun ban has no exemption.
When asked about the exemption of the gun ban, she said inquiries must be addressed to the PRO, adding the latter would also determine who will be issued with the exemption.
Duterte-Carpio said that for some who suggest the gun ban would be implemented whole year round, "that should be explored in the legislation council of Davao City or the House of Representatives."
"Dili nato mabuhat kung wala'y balaod kay sa pagkakaron, naa lang otoridad nga mag cancel sa permit to carry firearms outside their residence is ang PNP (We cannot do that since we do not have that rules, but for now, only the PNP has the authority to cancel the permit to carry firearms outside their residences)," she said.
Only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies that are performing official duties and are wearing agency-prescribed uniforms are allowed to carry firearms within Davao City, with the implementation of the gun ban. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)