Gordon Sees Need To Arm Barangay Officials In Areas With High Crimes Rates, Rebellion Or Insurrection
Senator Richard J. Gordon sees the need to arm barangay officials in areas with high crime rates, rebellion or insurrection to help them protect themselves and their community.
Gordon explained that there is no need to arm every one of the close to 42,000 barangay chairmen and 293,636 kagawad in the country; only those in the areas cited above where the situation in the locality demands it.
"Madami nang napatay na barangay officials. Give firearms to help them protect themselves and their community. But not every barangay official need to be armed," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed plans for barangay officials who want to actively take part in the fight against crime and illegal drugs to have either shotguns or .22 caliber handguns.
The senator, who chairs the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, however, pointed to the need for proper vetting by the government and proper training for barangay officials to be given arms.
"The government should not give arms to those in the drug list or those who have criminal records. May mga barangay officials din na sympathizers din ng mga leftist rebels o ng mga terrorist groups kaya hindi pwedeng lahat aarmasan," Gordon said.
"Dapat pairalin ang nga patakaran sa pagkuha ng lisensya, gaya ng pagkuha ng neuro-psychiatric examination, pag-undergo sa gun seminars, at iba pang patakaran para masiguro na magiging responsible ang mga aarmahan. The government should be able to strictly monitor the distribution and disposition of those guns," he added.
When asked if the government should provide the firearms, Gordon said the government can buy the guns and charge it to the funds of the barangay.