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6. CHAVEZ VS.

ROMULO absolute right, but only a personal privilege to be


(Police Power; Scope) exercised under existing restrictions, and such as may
thereafter be imposed. A licensee takes his license
President Macapagal-Arroyo delivered a speech before subject to such conditions as the Legislature sees fit to
the members of PNP stressing the need for a nationwide impose, and one of the statutory conditions of this
gun ban in all public places to avert rising crime license is that it may be revoked by the selectmen at
incidents. She directed Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr., then their pleasure. Such a license is not a contract, and a
Chief of the PNP, to suspend the issuance of ‘Permits to revocation of it does not deprive the [petitioner] of any
Carry Firearms Outside of the Residence’ (PTCFOR). property, immunity, or privilege within the meaning of
Acting on her directive, Ebdane issued the “Guidelines in these words in the [Bill of Rights].
the Implementation of the Ban on the Carrying of
Firearms Outside the Residence”. The guidelines stated
that the possession and carrying of firearms outside of Valid Exercise of Police Power
the residence is a privilege granted by the State to its
citizens. It is to serve as a guideline in the Even assuming that Petitioner’s PTCFOR constitutes a
implementation of the ban on the carrying of firearms property right protected by the Constitution, the same
outside of residence, as provided in the IRR of PD 1866. cannot be considered as absolute as to be placed
beyond the reach of the State’s police power. All
The guidelines directed that all previous PTCFOR are property in the state is held subject to its general
revoked and a new PTCFOR may be re-applied for with regulations, necessary to the common good and
accordance with the conditions prescribed. All holders of general welfare.
licensed or government firearms were thereby prohibited
from carrying them outside their residences, unless they Test to determine the validity of a police measure:
are covered with mission or letter orders and duty detail
orders issued by competent authority pursuant to the (1) The interests of the public generally, as
IRR of PD 1866. distinguished from those of a particular class,
require the exercise of the police power; and
Francisco Chavez, a licensed gun owner to whom a (2) The means employed are reasonably
PTCFOR has been issued, requested the DILG to necessary for the accomplishment of the
reconsider the implementation of the guidelines but was purpose and not unduly oppressive upon
denied. Hence, he filed a petition for prohibition and individuals.
injunction on the implementation of the guidelines.
It is apparent from the guidelines that the basis for its
ISSUES: issuance was the need for peace and order in the
society. Owing to the proliferation of crimes, particularly
Whether the right to bear arms is a constitutional right; those committed by the NPA, which tends to disturb the
peace of the community, President Arroyo deemed it
Whether the license to carry firearms is a vested best to impose a nationwide gun ban. Undeniably, the
property right; motivating factor in the issuance of the assailed
Guidelines is the interest of the public in general.
Whether the implementation of the guidelines is a valid
exercise of police power The only question that can then arise is whether the
means employed are appropriate and reasonably
HELD: Petition was dismissed. necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and
are not unduly oppressive. The guidelines do not
Statutory right entirely prohibit possession of firearms. What they
proscribe is merely the carrying of firearms outside
The possession of firearms by the citizens of the of residence. However, those who wish to carry their
Philippines is the exception, not the rule. The right to firearms outside of their residences may re-apply for a
bear arms is a mere statutory privilege, not a new PTCFOR. This we believe is a reasonable
constitutional right. It is a mere statutory creation regulation. If the carrying of firearms is regulated,
originating from Act no. 1780, regulating the importation, necessarily, crime incidents will be curtailed. Criminals
acquisition, possession, use, and transfer of firearms; carry their weapon to hunt for their victims; they do not
and restated in Act no. 2711 and in PD no. 1866. wait in the comfort of their homes. With the revocation of
all PTCFOR, it would be difficult for criminals to roam
Being mere statutory creation, the right to bear arms around with their guns. On the other hand, it would be
cannot be considered an alienable or absolute right. easier for the PNP to apprehend them.

Not a vested property right

Petitioner cannot find solace in the due process clause.


The bulk of jurisprudence is that a license authorizing a
person to enjoy a certain privilege is neither a property
nor property right.

The PNP Chief is granted broad discretion in the


issuance of PTCFOR. This is evident from the IRR of PD
1866, which state that “the Chief of Constabulary may, in
meritorious cases as determined by him and under such
conditions as he may impose, authorize lawful holders of
firearms to carry them outside of residence”.

A PTCFOR, just like ordinary licenses in other regulated


fields, may be revoked at any time. It does not confer an