To facilitate global information exchange and cooperation between authorized law enforcement agencies on crime-related firearms and firearm trafficking, INTERPOL has developed the INTERPOL Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS). iARMS is an information technology system which provides a common global platform for firearm-related information exchange and cooperation, namely through:
- Providing a centralized system for the reporting and querying of lost, stolen, trafficked and smuggled firearms by law enforcement agencies globally;
- Facilitating the submission of, and responses to, international firearms trace requests including support to monitor the status of trace requests. iARMS data will support better detection and investigation of criminal firearms trafficking and smuggling routes.
In addition, the combined analysis of IBIN and iARMS data is likely to increase significantly the ability of law enforcement agencies to prevent and combat firearm-related crime, particularly through the identification of firearms traffickers and other violent criminals.
- On May 29, 2013, President Benigno Aquino III, signed into law, Republic Act 10591 entitled “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act”. The law aimed to regulate the ownership, possession, carrying, manufacture, dealing in and importation of firearms, ammunition or parts thereof and to provide stiffer penalties to those who violated the provisions.
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1866 entitled, “Codifying the Laws on Illegal/Unlawful Possession, Manufacture, Dealing in, Acquisition or Disposition of Firearms, Ammunition or Explosives or Instruments used in the Manufacture of Firearms, Ammunition or Explosives and Imposing Stiffer Penalties for Certain Violations Therefore and For Relevant Purposes” is considered as the main firearms law in the Philippines. It was amended later through Republic Act (RA) No. 8294, which increased the penalty for firearms-related crimes.
Using PD 1866 as its guide, subsequent governments have promulgated various countermeasures to curtail firearms trafficking. Some of the significant measures are as follows:
- Firearms Law of the Philippines (Republic Act 8294);
- Firearms Amnesty Program (Executive Order No. 171), which was extended until September 2005 through Executive Order No. 390 dated September 2004;
- Executive Order No 122 states that; “All Memorandum Receipts for government firearms and corresponding Mission Orders previously issued to private persons are hereby cancelled and recalled immediately. Henceforth, memorandum Receipts for Government-owned firearms, and Mission Orders covering the same shall be issued only to organic government personnel while in the performance of their official duties, pursuant to P.D. 1866 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations”.
- National Emergency Memorandum Order No. 6 providing for a new general registration of firearms, ammunition, explosives and explosive ingredients and recovered and/or unlicensed ones;
- Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (Republic Act 1937);
- Revised Administrative Code on the Basic Firearms Law;
- Firearms Amnesty Program Executive Order Number 585/585-A covering the period from November 15, 2007 to November 14, 2008;
- Firearms Amnesty Program Executive Order Number 817/817-A covering the period from October 1 to November 30, 2009;
- The UN Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition (Firearms Protocol), was adopted in 2001 by the GA with resolution 55/255 and entered into force on 3 June 2005. The Firearms Protocol constitutes, to date, the only global legally-binding instrument addressing the issue of small arms.
INTERPOL Strategic Plan 2013-2015
- Secure global communication on firearm crime
- International rollout of iARMS from 1 January 2013.
- Expanding participation in iARMS among INTERPOL member countries.
- Expanding participation in IBIN among INTERPOL member agencies
B. Capacity Building Program
- Increase awareness of, and participation in, training offered by the Programme.
- Enhance online learning services related to firearms
C. Assisting INTERPOL member countries to identify firearm crimes and criminals
- Establish investigative and analytical capabilities within the Programme.
- Establish the Firearm Crime Experts' Network (ARMSNet) and associated online communications forum.
- Seek additional funding and sponsorship opportunities for the Firearms Programme.
On March 20, 2015, a federal court judge in Brooklyn, New York sentenced Filipino law enforcer brothers; Rex and Wilfredo Maralit who were found guilty last year of shipping military grade firearms to the Philippines between 2009 and 2013. They are sentenced to three years in a New York federal prison for international arms trafficking.
On April 06, 2015, Kirby Chung Santos, a 38-year old Filipino was arrested in Guam for allegedly illegally shipping guns and gun parts from New Jersey to the Philippines. At least $200,000 worth of guns and firearm parts are exported from 2008 to 2013.
On March 16, 2016, Mechell Westenberg y Joseph, Belgian National, 61 years old, married, born on October 8, 1954, in Brgy. Pudiot, Tangalan, Aklan, the joint elements of CIDG 6-RSOT and Tangalan MPS, Aklan PPO implemented a Search Warrant for Violation of PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294 (illegal possession of firearms and explosives or instruments used in the manufacturing of ammunition and explosives) and further amended by RA 10591.
Shipments of Empty Weapons and Accessories (4 pcs. KRISS VECTOR (KV) Sub- Machine Gun GEN II Cal. 9x19- Black and 2 pcs. Lover Receiver Assembly for KV-SMG GENII- Treaded Barrel consigned to Philippine National Police (PNP) Stone of David Tactical Equipment Company (SODTEC) under Airwaybill No. 695-4816-3765
Shipment of 1x40’ International Tractor, Harley Davidson but found to contain intl axle tractor, harley davidson, glock, ruger lc, sti .40 caliber w/ caspian slide, m4 spike tactical, magazine (m4 spike tactical), magazine holder, magazine (.380 caliber), magazine (.40 caliber), pistol case, night vision goggles, asst gun part, etc.
Workshop on developing an ASEAN Instrument on Small Arms Smuggling (March 22-24, 2016 at Siem Reap, Cambodia)