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PEOPLE v.

MAPA
Aug. 30, 1967 | Fernando, J. | Appeal | Statutory Construction
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT: Francisco P. Cabigao
PLAINTIFF-APPELEE: Solicitor General (Alafriz)
ACCUSED: Mario Mapa Y Mapulong

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SUMMARY: Mario Y Mapa Mapulong was found in possession of a homemade revolver (Paltik), Cal. 22, without a serial number, and with 6 rounds of
ammunition. He did not have a license or permit to carry this weapon. The Court
of First Instance found him guilty on grounds of the accused admitting to the fact
(and affirmed by his lawyer) to having possession of a firearm without a license
or permit. Mapa was convicted of the crime of illegal possession of firearms and
sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of one year and one day to two years to
pay the costs. Revolver was forfeited in favor of the government. The case is
now brought to the Supreme Court an appeal with the question of law.

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DOCTRINE: (1) It is unlawful for any person to *** possess any firearm,
detached parts of firearms, or ammunition therefor, or any instrument or
implement used or intended to be used in the manufacture of firearms, parts of
firearms, or ammunition. (2) Firearms and ammunition regularly and lawfully
issued to officers, soldiers, sailors, or marines, the Philippine Constabulary,
guards in employment of the Bureau of Prisons, municipal police, provincial
governors, lieutenant governors, provincial treasurers, municipal treasurers,
municipal mayors, and guards of provincial prisoners and jails are not covered
when said firearms are in possession of such officials and public servants for use
in the performance of their official duties.

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FACTS:
1. Aug. 13, 1962 Mario Mapa Y Mapulong was found willfully and unlawfully
to have a homemade revolver under his possession, without serial number, and

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with six rounds of ammunition.


Aug. 14, 1962 Information on Mapa was established.
Sept 3, 1963 Court of First Instance asks the counsel (of Mapa) to stipulate
the unlawful possession of the gun, that Mapa has no permit or license to
possess the gun, and that it is a question of law whether or not a secret agent
can hold a firearm without a permit issued by the Philippine Constabulary.
Counsel asks whether or not a secret agent is not required to get a license for
his firearm.
Court asks Mapa if he admits to the ownership of the gun and the ammunition
mentioned in the information he does with the consent of his lawyer.
Document from June 2, 1962 is shown revealing that he is appointed as the
secret agent of Gov. Leviste. Another document, also issued by Gov. Leviste
directed Mapa to go to Quezon City on a confidential mission.
Nov. 27, 1963 Court of First Instance rules against Mapa, on the grounds of
illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. He is convicted for one year and
day to two years to pay the costs. The gun is surrendered to the Government.
Aug. 30, 1967 Appeal to supreme court

ISSUE: Whether or not the appointment to and holding of the position of a secret
agent to a provincial governor would constitute a sufficient defense to a prosecution
for the crime of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. NO.
RULING: Judgement of lower court affirmed.
RATIO:
1. Ownership of firearms and ammunition without a license or a permit is illegal.
2. There is no provision that makes an exception for secret agents.
3. The duty of a court is to apply the law. In this case, it is clear. No interpretation
or construction is necessary.