PNP dismayed by Senate’s failure to pass gun control bill
February 04, 2010 17:51:00
Abigail Kwok

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police has expressed dismay over the Senate’s failure to pass an “urgent” bill for better firearms control, even lashing at lawmakers for “bickering” instead of tackling important measures.

Senate Bill 3584, an act providing for stiffer penalties for firearms-related crimes, was among the priority legislation the upper chamber failed to pass before it adjourned sine die on Wednesday, said PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa in a statement Thursday.

He said the proposed firearms control measure was critical in the PNP’s drive to dismantle private armed groups and ensure orderly and clean national elections in May.

"This piece of legislation should empower the police in preventing violence during the election period through a more aggressive and effective firearms control," Verzosa said.

Lacking quorum, the Senate on Wednesday adjourned without tackling key measures, including the firearms control bill, which was certified as urgent by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Nonetheless, Verzosa gave assurances the PNP "will do our level best, despite difficult circumstances, in ensuring an honest, orderly and peaceful elections with all our vested authority within the bounds of law to ensure honest and clean elections, and mount a reinvigorated campaign against partisan armed groups, threat groups and syndicated crime groups."