People vs. Mario Mapulong [G.R. No. L-22301. August 30, 1967]

15 Aug

Ponente: FERNANDO, J.


Petitioner was found to be in violation of Section 878 in connection with Section 2692 of the Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 56 and as further amended by Republic Act No. 4. Petitioner willfully and unlawfully have in his possession and under his custody and control one home-made revolver (Paltik), Cal. 22, without serial number, with six (6) rounds of ammunition, without first having secured the necessary license or permit therefor from the corresponding authorities. The lower court rendered a decision convicting the accused of the crime of illegal possession of firearms The only question being one of law, the appeal was taken to [the Supreme] Court.


Whether or not the appointment to and holding of the position of a secret agent to the provincial governor would constitute a sufficient defense to a prosecution for the crime of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.


NO. The judgment appealed from was affirmed.


The law (Sec. 878 as amended by Republic Act No. 4, Revised Administrative Code) is explicit that except as thereafter specifically allowed:

“it shall be 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.”

The law cannot be any clearer. No provision was made for a secret agent. The first and fundamental duty of courts is to apply the law. “Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them.” (Lizarraga Hermanos v. Yap Tico, (1913) 24 Phil. 504, 513). The conviction of the accused must stand. It cannot be set aside.

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Case Digests, Statutory Construction


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