Zubiri wants gun ban during demolitions

Posted at 04/28/12 5:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri is seeking the prohibition of carrying firearms by authorities during demolitions, following a violent encounter in Parañaque City last Monday that resulted to the death of a 20-year-old resident.

In a statement released on Saturday, Zubiri urged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to ban the carrying of firearms during lawful demolition operations, saying there are “non-lethal ways” for the police to keep the peace during a demolition.

"The CHR is in a position to forbid the use of deadly weapons, especially high-powered firearms, during demolitions,” Zubiri said.

"While the CHR's powers are primarily investigative, the law did not render the five-member commission toothless in discouraging human rights violations through the issuance of certain directives," he added.

The former senator also said the CHR is mandated “to provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection.”

Monday’s demolition at the Silverio Compound in Parañaque led to the death of resident Arnel Leonor.

Authorities have yet to identify the gunman.

On Friday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo ordered a suspension of all planned demolition operations in Metro Manila to allow authorities to review their policies.