Sunday, November 1, 2015

Habak (Bullet Anting-Anting), Airports, and the Law.

In the Visayas, HABAK is a common anting-anting (kalaki) using ammunition shell casings. The shell casings are filled with herbs, medicinal plants, oils, pieces of paper with latin prayers on them. The opening is crimped shut and a hole is punched where a piece of string is passed through. A Habak is usually worn on the hips or on the waist.

A few years back, the old firearms law (PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294) was repealed by the New Firearms Law, also known as Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act (RA 10591). Let's take a look at these laws:

PD 1866: Ammunition was not defined.
RA 8294: Ammunition was not defined.
RA 10591: Sec. 3,  (b) Ammunition refers to a complete unfixed unit consisting of a bullet, gunpowder, cartridge case and primer or loaded shell for use in any firearm.

Let's take a look at the Visayan Habak Anting-Anting, it's merely a shell casing/cartridge without any bullet and gunpowder. Using the law's definition of what Ammunition is, HABAK cannot be considered as ammunition as it is, in its entirety, incomplete.

What should you do if you are held at the airport for allegedly carrying "ammunition" consisting of a HABAK on your person. You could argue that under the law, by its very definition, a habak cannot be considered as ammunition, and that the security personnel who hassled you should just shut the fuck up and die.

But all the same, it would be such a hassle on your part to have to argue with so-called airport security on the definition of Ammunition since it is very likely that most of them have not even read the new law, or even understood it.

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