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APRIL 16, 2013

NR # 3075

Solons seek gun industry regulation to minimize loose firearms

Lawmakers are determined to push for a regulated local gun industry to lessen the proliferation of illegal firearms in the country. We have good and skilled gunsmiths that can be at par with other countries but the government needs to provide enough funding for R&D to improve our local capability to produce firearms, and its legal parameters, Rep. Angelo Palmones (Party-list, AGHAM) said. I am pushing strongly for House Resolution 1461, directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to seriously consider procuring locally made firearms to support the local gun industry instead of buying US made guns, Palmones added. Palmones said, once regulated, there is no need to smuggle out of the country locally made guns to buyers who are syndicated criminals. The country is well known gun exporter to Japan, among others, so why dont we regulate the gun industry, improve it, by providing the necessary support from the government and then let us export guns legally, Palmones said. Palmones pushed for his proposal even as he expressed concern over reports of illegal gun trading in the country even at the height of the election gun ban. Palmones cited the recent BBC news report stating that aside from several big firearms factories centered in the City of Cebu, local residents are also making guns at home. Its an existing open industry in Cebu; its just that wala tayong suporta kaya hindi ganoon ka-regulated. So kung ma re-regulate natin to provide them with R&D support and help them put up the necessary infrastructure, we will be able to export it globally and legally. Hindi yung pailalim, kamukha ng ginagawa ng mga sindikato, Palmones said. House Resolution 1461, filed by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2 nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), cited that United Defense Manufacturing Corporation (UDMC), a Filipino owned firm registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission is, engaged in the business of trading and maintaining imported or locally manufactured firearms, ammunitions, spare parts, ordinance and other equipment. Guns made by the UDMC are reportedly being used by United States and British

private security forces, but are not appreciated by our own government, Rodriguez lamented. The UDMC has reportedly manufactured a more sophisticated and better M-16 rifle, which is being recommended by the Philippine Navy special warfare group or Seals, but is not used by the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police. Army Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali and retired Maj. Philip Manlapaz, reportedly both experts in M-16 and similar weapons, agreed that UDMCs guns are much sturdier and are easier to handle, hardly kick during automatic fire, and are much cheaper than the USmade M-16, Rodriguez said. The UDMC received its manufacturing license from the Philippine government in August of 2009 allowing the manufacture of UDMC-branded high-powered firearms of various calibers. There are an estimated 600,000 unlicensed firearms in circulation, according to a news report by the Agence France Presse (AFP). (30) jsc