By N Mark Castro

As the United States of America struggles with their citizens’ constitutional right to bear arms and the government’s efforts to curb a rising tide of gun-related violence, the Republic of the Philippines has no problems in issuing its regular Gun Ban, covering a 150-day period in time for the May 2013 elections.

That’s how swift, resolute, and easy it is for the Philippines to issue such nationwide edict.

Of course, that’s how swift, resolute, and easy it is for the Filipinos to ignore and violate the same law.


There have been 281 people caught in violation of the 2013 Gun Ban in the Philippines.

Based on PNP figures,  those arrested were six policemen, 246 civilians, six government officials, 22 security guards and one civilian armed auxiliary.

And May is still a long way to go.

It isn’t surprising therefore to find these kinds of notices in Metro Manila.

Which makes you wonder if you’re in a WILD, WILD WEST show.

I never truly noticed it when I was still living in Manila, despite all the news of road rage killings from gunshots but, on hindsight, it does seem pretty funny that most everyone walks around in the city armed and fully loaded.


And that’s why Philippine criminals continue to be one of the most creative offenders in the region. If there is a Gun Ban, then, surely there are other tools by which they could apply their trade, such as —

As of two days ago, jewelry tenants at SM Megamall was brazenly attacked by 6 unidentified men armed with hammer (currently known as “Martilyo Gang” (Hammer Gang). One reportedly carried a gun although, as of this writing, security officers at the mall could not explain how such a gun-toting man managed to enter the strict “pat-and-brush” entry procedure in all SM doors, aside from the prominent CCTVs scattered around the mall.

I could not have made that up even if I wanted to.

And according to reports:

An inventory showed that the thieves made off with 71 Saudi gold necklaces, 52 Saudi gold pendants and four Saudi Gold men’s rings from Jeweller Jewellery Store.

The F and C store, on the other hand, lost 10 Saudi gold rings, 21 earrings and 17 Saudi gold chains.


But the “Martilyo Gang” (Hammer Gang) is Albert Einstein compared to our next group of criminals, the “Donut Gang”. At least the “Martilyo Gang” stole jewelries, the “Donut Gang” steals spare tires of parked vehicles.

Reports have it that a mall security guard shot it out with a gun-wielding motorist he accosted at Robinsons Magnolia mall while one was almost run over when he tried to stop the suspect at the Robinsons Place in Ermita.

All of this happened a few days and a few hours ago … while the Gun Ban is in full effect.



About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the Southeast Asia Director of JUMP DIGITAL Asia, which is an internationally-awarded and fully integrated digital marketing agency with 5 out of 10 offices in the ASEAN region. He is also the Secretary General of the Philippine Business Club Indonesia, managing and assisting the traffic of investments between the Philippines and Indonesia. He shuttles between Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore, Cambodia, and Australia. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on January 30, 2013, in General, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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