GMA'S GUN BAN CHALLENGED BEFORE SUPREME COURT  

Manila, Feb. 20, 2003 -- Former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez yesterday questioned before the Supreme Court the declaration of President Arroyo banning the carrying of firearms outside of residence.

In a 55-page petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, Chavez, who is himself a licensed gun owner, told the tribunal that the President has no right to amend existing laws through her imposition of a nationwide gun ban.

He also asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the guidelines issued by the PNP acting on the speech of the President.

The PNP issued the guidelines imposing a gun ban, revoking all existing Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) without refund of fees paid and prohibiting all holders of licensed firearms from carrying their firearms outside their residence.

In a speech on January 22, Arroyo imposed a nationwide gun ban in public places and revoked all existing PTCFORs.

Those who intend to carry their firearms outside of residence must re-apply for a permit and must comply with stricter requirements.

Chavez said that the President modified and altered the existing law on gun ban, a power which is not vested on her by the Constitution.

"Since Congress is the sole wielder of legislative powers, the President is precluded none other than the Constitution, from exercising it. In this case, the President did exactly what she was prohibited to do under the doctrine of the separation of powers. She altered and modified validly existing statues," Chavez stated. (By CHELOY GARAFIL, Malaya)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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