MEMORANDUM ORDER NO. 4
PROVIDING FOR A NEW GENERAL REGISTRATION OF FIREARMS, DIRECTING THE INVENTORY OF ALL FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, EXPLOSIVES AND EXPLOSIVES INGREDIENTS AND MILITARY EQUIPAGE, PROVIDING GUIDELINES FOR THE RECOVERY AND/OR SURRENDER OF LOOSE, UNACCOUNTED FOR AND/OR UNLICENSED FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, EXPLOSIVES AND EXPLOSIVES INGREDIENTS, AND MILITARY EQUIPAGE, AND FOR OTHER SIMILAR PURPOSES
Pursuant to Section 3 (9) of Republic Act No. 6826, authorizing the President of the Philippines “[T]o issue lawful orders for the recovery and accounting of all firearms, explosives and military equipage, including, but not limited to, those belonging to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police and licensed firearms which have fallen into the possession of unauthorized persons or entities, or are being used by their holders for unlawful purposes”, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, do hereby order:
1. The existing master list of licensed and registered firearms is hereby declared null and void. There shall be a new general registration of firearms, to be conducted by the Philippine Constabulary, through the Firearms and Explosives Unit or such other entity as may be authorized by the Secretary of National Defense, with the approval of the President: Provided, That, such firearms as may be found to be lawfully possessed by a qualified applicant for registration shall be registered by the duly constituted authority anew, without additional costs to the new applicant, and for the same period as the original application.
The Secretary of National Defense is authorized to promulgate the necessary guidelines to implement this section subject to the approval of the President.
2. (a) The Chief of Staff, AFP, is hereby directed to conduct an inventory of all firearms, ammunition, explosives and explosives ingredients and military equipage and the like in all military commands/units/arsenals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including those loaned to civil government offices and officials and to private persons and entities. All such loaned firearms, ammunition, explosives, explosives ingredients and military equipage shall be recalled or recovered immediately, except those loaned to law enforcement and government security units, offices or authorities and those vitally necessary for the security of government officials in the performance of their duties as determined by the Secretary of National Defense.
(b) The Chief of Constabulary/Director General of the Integrated National Police is hereby directed to conduct an inventory of all firearms, ammunition, explosives and explosives ingredients and equipage covered by licenses and permits, current or expired, granted to any person or entity to possess and/or carry or import, manufacture, sell, or deal in, the same, including those surrendered to, or captured, or seized by, or on deposit with, the firearms and explosives unit and other PC/INP units as well as those loaned by PC/INP offices and units to civil government offices and officials and to private persons and entities. Immediate steps shall be taken to recall or recover such loaned firearms, ammunition, explosives, explosives ingredients or equipage except those loaned to civil government security units, offices or authorities and those vitally necessary for the security of government officials in the performance of their duties as determined by the Secretary of National Defense. Immediate legal steps shall also be taken to confiscate those firearms, ammunition, explosives, explosives ingredients or equipage covered by expired licenses or permits as well as those in excess of the quantity and type specified in the license or permit.
(c) Likewise, immediate legal steps shall be taken for the seizure of all unlicensed or unregistered firearms, ammunition, explosives, explosives ingredients and tools and instruments used or designed to be used in the manufacture of firearms, ammunition, or explosives in the possession of any person, firm, entity, organization, association or group of persons and to charge him/them with the appropriate offense before the proper courts.
3. Any person who possesses any firearm, ammunition or explosives or explosives ingredients or equipage without any license or permit as prescribed by law may, without incurring any criminal liability therefor, surrender the same to the Chief of Constabulary/Director General, Integrated National Police through the Commanding Officer of the Firearms and Explosives Unit in Camp Crame, Quezon City for those in Metropolitan Manila and through the PC/INP Provincial Commander for those outside Metropolitan Manila within a period of one (1) month from the date of the effectivity of this Memorandum Order: Provided, That the foregoing provisions shall not be construed as barring the prosecution of any person for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives, or explosives ingredients as the case may be, in violation of existing laws, if he, within the above-mentioned period of one (1) month:
(a) Carries outside of his residence, any loose or unlicensed firearm, ammunition or explosives or explosives ingredients, unless it is for the purpose of surrendering the same, as evidenced by a written authority to transport the same for the aforesaid purpose priorly secured by him from the proper authorities designated by the Chief of Constabulary/Director General, INP; or
(b) Commits or has committed any other offense with the use of such loose or unlicensed firearm, ammunition or explosive.
This Memorandum Order shall not apply to cases involving violations of pertinent laws on firearms and explosives committed prior to its effectivity; those which had already been filed before the Prosecutor’s Offices and/or before the Courts; and those involving crimes committed with the use of firearms or explosives which are seized and/or confiscated by proper authorities during the thirty-day period prescribed herein.
The holder or possessor of any firearm surrendered in accordance with this Memorandum Order may apply to possess the same under license: Provided, That he is qualified to possess the said firearm in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations: Provided, Further, That the surrendered firearm is of the type and caliber authorized to be possessed and that it is not in excess of the number authorized per applicant: Provided, Finally, That the surrendered firearm does not belong to the Government or a duly authorized private person.
4. Incentives are authorized to be granted to individuals who shall provide information regarding firearms, ammunition and/or explosives and explosives ingredients and equipage in the possession of any person not otherwise authorized to possess the same, in such amount as may be recommended by the Chief of Staff, AFP, subject to the approval of the President.
5. Funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this Memorandum Order shall be taken from the applicable funds in the Department of National Defense and such other appropriations as may be determined by the Department of Budget and Management.
6. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as depriving the President of the Philippines of her powers under the Constitution and laws to promulgate such other orders or issuances to address the national emergency.
7. This urgent Memorandum Order shall take effect two (2) days after publication in at least two (2) newspapers of national circulation.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and ninety.
(Sgd.) CORAZON C. AQUINO
By the President:
(Sgd.) CATALINO MACARAIG, JR.