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People v. Mapa GR L-22301, 30 August 1967 (20 SCRA 1164)En Banc, Fernando (p): 9 concur Facts: Mario M.

Mapa was charged for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition in aninformation dated 14 August 1962 in violation of Section 878 of the Revise Administrative Codein connection with Section 2692 of the Revised Administrative Code, as amended by CA 56 andas further amended by RA 4. Accused admits to possession of firearm on ground of being asecret agent of Governor Feliciano Leviste of Batangas. On 27 November 1963, the lower courtrendered a decision convicting the accused of the crime and sentenced him to imprisonment for one year and one day to two years. As the appeal involves a question of law, it was elevated tothe Supreme Court. Issue: Whether or not a secret agent duly appointed and qualified as such of the governor isexempt from the requirement of having a license of firearm Held: The law is explicit that it is unlawful for any person to possess any firearm, detached partsof firearms or ammunition therefor, or any instrument or implement used or intended to be usedin the manufacture of firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition except when such firearms arein possession of such public officials and public servants for use in the performance of their official duties; as those firearms and ammunitions which are regularly and lawfully issued toofficers, soldiers, sailors or marines, the Philippines Constabulary, guards in the employment of the Bureau of Prisons, municipal police, provincial governors, lieutenant governors, provincialtreasurers, municipal treasurers, municipal mayors, and guards of provincial prisoners and jails.It is the first and fundamental duty of courts to apply the law; Construction and interpretationcome only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate withoutthem. The law cannot be any clearer, there being no provision made for a secret agent.Reliance in the decision in People v. Macarandang is misplaced, and the case no longer speakswith authority to the extent that the present decision conflicts with. It may be note that in Peoplev. Macarandang, a secret agent was acquitted on appeal on the assumption that the appointmentof the accused as a secret agent to assist in the maintenance of peace and order campaigns anddetection of crimes sufficiently put him within the category of a peace officer equivalent evento a member of the municipal police expressly covered by section 879, Thus, in the present case,therefore, the conviction must stand.The Supreme Court affirmed the appealed judgment.