Dismantling of private armies sought by solons

In a country where a culture of fear and impunity reigns, especially during the election season, private armies are the norm. Constitutionally prohibited, private armies and other groups not recognized by any duly constituted authority ought to be dismantled. However, no legislation has yet been enacted to penalize private armies and other armed groups. Enter House Bill No. 22 introduced by MAGDALO Party List Represerntatives Francisco Acedillo and Gary Alejano in the 16th Congress which aims to dismantle and penalize such armed entities.

In a country where a culture of fear and impunity reigns, especially during the election season, private armies are the norm. Constitutionally prohibited, private armies and other groups not recognized by any duly constituted authority ought to be dismantled. However, no legislation has yet been enacted to penalize private armies and other armed groups. Enter House Bill No. 22 introduced by MAGDALO Party List Represerntatives Francisco Acedillo and Gary Alejano in the 16th Congress which aims to dismantle and penalize such armed entities.

Known as An Act Defining “ Private Armies and Other Armed Groups”, Implementing the Constitutional Provision for their Dismantling, Prescribing Penalties Therefor, and for Other Purposes or “The Anti-Private Army Law of 2013” in shorthand, HB 22 declares that private armies and other armed groups not recognized by duly constituted authority be dismantled. Likewise, it prohibits the maintenance and use of private armies, the abuse of military and police personnel as security detail, the abuse of firearm permits and the unregistered importation thereof, the use of paramilitary forces and private security agencies as private armies, and the protection, financing, and supplying of aid and comfort to private armies.

The measure defines private armies as a group of at least ten (10) individuals, with a leadership structure and weaponry, utilized for the commission of crimes and the advancement of vested political and economic interests of an entity in an oppressive way. A private armed group is defined as smaller in size, consisting of three (3) people but utilized in the same way as a private army.

It also lays out penalties to leaders and members of private armies, ranging from imprisonment to fines. Leaders of private armies shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than twelve (12) years and one (1) day nor more than twenty (20) years, or fined not less than two hundred thousand (200,000) pesos nor more than one million (1,000,000) pesos, or both, as per court decision. Members shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day nor more than twelve (12) years, or by a fine of not less than fifty thousand (50,000) pesos nor more than two hundred thousand (200,000) pesos. Weapons, whether licensed or not, shall be confiscated and disposed of. Paramilitary units such as CAFGUs and CVOs, and other units which no longer possess strategic or tactical value in the administration and maintenance of peace and order, utilized as private armies shall likewise be dismantled. Private security agencies used as private armies shall also be dismantled, and private security forces shall be regulated against their utilization for the advancement of vested interests beyond legitimate security needs.

The measure will prioritize the dismantling of large and long-existing private armies, those with government connections, paramilitary forces and private security forces  used as private armies, private armies with formidable weaponry and financial/logistical resources, and leaders, protectors, financiers, and suppliers of such groups.

 

House Bill 22: The Anti-Private Army Law of 2013

HB 22: The Anti-Private Army Law of 2013

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS