New gun law paves way for armed priests, journalists, and accountants in the Philippines!

Gone are the days, it seems, when priests walked around confident that a crucifix in hand and a rosary in their pockets sufficed to protect them from harm and “evil”. And then there is the now obsolete saying that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Apparently “journalists” have now lost confidence in that notion, preferring instead to rely on a shiny heavy piece instead of wielding the pen to pack their might. And if you are an accountant? Well, it’s all good. Perhaps the nerdy stigma attached to accountants can be erased now that our bean counters can legally play cowboys and indians with their new toys while debiting and crediting our books.

Lo que Dámaso no lleva un arma?
Lo que Dámaso no lleva un arma?

So goes the rationale behind a new law reportedly signed by Philippine President and gun enthusiast Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III making the carrying of firearms legal for priests, journalists, accountants, and other people engaged in “dangerous” professions…

Under the Philippines’ Republic Act 10591, people working in these sectors — along with nurses, engineers, bank tellers, and lawyers — are considered “in imminent danger due to their profession” and will be allowed to carry small guns when outside their homes.

To qualify for a special firearms permit, people in these professions have to pass drug and psychiatric tests, and show they don’t have any criminal convictions or pending cases for crimes with punishments of more than two years in prison.

This relaxes the requirements of the previous gun law, the Republic Act 8294, under which they had to prove they were under “actual threat” of danger to carry a firearm.

And yes, but of course

The regulations could be good news for reporters in the Philippines, who live in one of the world’s deadliest countries for the media, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Some 74 journalists, mostly covering politics, have been murdered in the Philippines since 1992, the press freedom group says. In more than 70% of cases, the killers have gone unpunished.

According to the World Health Rankings website, violence ranks Number 7 in a list of the Philippines’ top causes of death making it one of Filipinos’ top lifestyle-related killers. Violence, after all, is a way of life in the Philippines. Filipinos kill one another for the smallest things — ask any foreigner living in the Philippines and it is likely that their greatest fear will be something involving getting shot in the back over offending the fragile ego of the corner tambay.

Not surprising, considering President BS Aquino is an avid gun enthusiast. BS Aquino once insisted on packing a piece despite his being under the constant protection of an elite squad of security men. If I were one of BS Aquino’s security guys, I’d feel really insulted. And insulting a Filipino (much more an armed one) really isn’t such a smart thing to do. You could end up with a bad case of lead poisoning in your back.

Indeed, as the Washington Post observes in the aftermath of that brazen SM Megamall armed robbery, the Philippines is more gun than fun

The proliferation of firearms — police estimate there are up to 1 million unregistered weapons — have fueled violence and insurgencies in the country for years despite calls from lawmakers and pressure groups for tighter gun control. A dysfunctional justice system with crowded jails and underpaid prosecutors and judges has produced a massive backlog where a criminal trial can stretch over six years or more.

The biggest irony surrounding this violent country is its utter lack of a strong martial tradition. Filipinos are not known for a proud tradition of victory in the battlefield. This is evident in the sad way the Philippines continues to depend on the United States, its former colonial master, to defend it from an increasingly aggressive China. Indeed, Filipinos maintain a pipsqueak military force — barely enough to fight even the most unprofessional of armed militias and bandits that roam its countryside with impunity. For a country that prides itself in having the pound-for-pound greatest boxer in the world as one of its own, it is a mouse where it matters. With millions of able-bodied Filipino men just wiling away their time on street corners drinking beer, the Philippines is a society of people begging for a clear purpose in their lives.

The new gun law signed by the country’s gunslinger-wannabe president is evidence that the Philippine government continues to utterly fail at one of its most basic mandates — to build a safe and just society that Filipinos could truly be proud of.


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40 Comments on "New gun law paves way for armed priests, journalists, and accountants in the Philippines!"

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not disciplined or organized enough. most gun “owners” here are more like punks with guns of the Deathwish variety.

My wife was driving home after dropping the kids to school on a 4 lane national road (2 lanes, opposite ways). The oncoming lane was jammed, but her lane was fairly flowing. She was on the inner lane and a bus was on the other lane at same speed. Being in the Philippines, motorcycles from the oncoming lane was counterflowing, occupying her lane. Most of them moved back to their lane as she was oncoming but one guy on motorcycle stood his ground, stopped and pulled out a gun aiming it at my wife who had no choice as she… Read more »

Annual Deaths by firearms – nationmaster

US – 9,000

Philippines – 7,700 and a rising trend ( 5th highest in the world)

Zimbabwe – 600

Australia – 59

Germany – 46

UK – 12

The US gun lobby had an easy ally in pea shooter aquino and his side kick puno.

why just the priests, journalists and accountants anyway? why not all professionals? all of us can be at the wrong place and at the wrong time. with a poverty-stricken country, starving-gone-psycho banes of society may lurk anywhere, everywhere. and anyone, professional or not, may fall prey. with this new law, let us expect more people flaunting their guns when caught in heated and heavy traffic. i can bet on this i swear. psychiatric test? yeah right. with Napoles and tanda and sexy and pogi still enjoying their time outside jail, people can lose their temper so fast. expect more Jason… Read more »

An armed society is a polite society.


i came here 5years ago with an aim of starting a trade school plus develop a unique auto shop making fibreglass bodies and sending them back to autralia,,,,but right now i am packing and returning to aust,,being robbed of all electrical goods as we slept,,told many times i was lucky i didnt wake up,,,,this incident was the last straw of many letdowns here ,,the experience should make great reading soon on my website,,,

Domingo Arong


Official Gazette text of R.A. 10591 PNoy signed on May 29, 2013.

Relevant data on “Philippines — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law”

sancho alconce

Maybe some of these priests can use the barrel of a gun to threaten their boy toys. But on another note, arming priests with firearms is an affront to that supernatural being they serve.

Hyden Toro
The Philippines is the only country with pistol packing priests. I will never be attending Masses; if I will see the Priest, having a gun. Aquino is a coward. He pack guns, but is afraid , if the other fellow has a gun, and can shoot back. This is proven, in the Luneta massacre incident. He was nowhere to be found. We are the Wild Wild West country in the Far East. We should add in the Job Opportunities in the Dept. of Labor. “Wanted , experienced Gunslinger. Good in fast draws. Can work without job insurance (accidental death ,… Read more »
The philippines is seeing some disturbing trends, be it increase in guns, drug cartels establishing the country as the asian hub, and the philippines now one of the global centres for child sex cyberdens. As the pnoy administration spend all their time on grabbing power, persecuting enemies, and of course feathering their own nests, they are neglecting the very fabric of society and allowing it to slip into a malaise which will soon require radical solutions, or serious unrest, and a domino effect on investment, tourism etc. Cleary pnoy aquino does not care or have any ideas. The problem is… Read more »

Philippine society spiraling out of control. Utter chaos everywhere. Electing an inept leader with no worthwhile cause to run a country.

Ding Dong

“The Bullet be thy name!” – Thy kingdom come . . .


well whos gooing to protect you and your family? the police? better own agun to protect yourself