Police among 13 suspects slain in Philippine clash

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm •  Published: January 6, 2013
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The latest violence followed two other deadly shootings that have revived calls for tighter gun control in the Philippines, where there are more than half a million unlicensed firearms, according to police estimates.

A man who reportedly was drunk and high on drugs killed eight people before being gunned down by police on Friday in Kawit town in Cavite province, 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Manila.

A 7-year-old girl died a day after being hit in the head by a stray bullet while watching fireworks with her family on New Year's Eve outside their home in Caloocan city, near Manila, despite a high-profile government campaign against powerful firecrackers and celebratory gunfire by Filipinos to welcome 2013.

Earlier Sunday, before the shootout, presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte told reporters that President Benigno Aquino III, a known gun enthusiast, would study gun-control proposals with other officials. Among the proposals is a call by anti-gun groups to ban the carrying of firearms by civilians outside their homes.

The proliferation of firearms has long fueled crime, political violence and Muslim and communist rebellions that have raged for decades in parts of the Philippines. Previous attempts by authorities to clamp down on unregistered weapons have yielded few results in a country where several politically powerful clans and families control private armed groups in provincial strongholds outside Manila.

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Associated Press writers Jim Gomez and Teresa Cerojano in Manila contributed to this report.