Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Delivering Stories of Progress


FIRING LINE: Arming civilians, chief?!

Latest article

Advertisement - PS02barkero developers premium website


Hotel Okura Manila
Hotel 101
The Manor at Camp John Hay
Novotel Manila
Taal Vista Hotel
Advertisement - PS02barkero developers premium website

By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Let it be a reminder as good as a warning to Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar that while he serves at the pleasure of the President, his constitutionally sworn duty is to serve and protect the people.

And by no means shall he be doing that by serving this president’s will to arm civilians, however well-meaning, to fight crime.

 How can we even begin thinking of putting a gun in the hands of peace-loving citizens – if that’s what they truly are – and let them roam randomly about town?

I think it’s a slap to any decent police officer’s face to even suggest that any Tom, Dick, and Harry who has the brawn and predisposition to fight crime to actually pick up a gun and do the job of a trained professional.

Who are these civilian “force multipliers” in the first place? Commonly, they’re your neighborhood tanod or village watchmen answerable to the barangay. In addition, there are members of anti-crime crusading organizations fronted by lawyers, some retired law enforcers, and professionals of good reputations. Still, the IDs they issue often end up loosely in the hands of their drivers, their friends, relatives, and neighbors.

By mere instincts, it’s easy to conclude that these community-oriented organizations and groups are easily infiltrated by anyone who just wants to tuck a gun in his waist and have the license for it.

*              *              *

There’s a reason for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to be alarmed. Vice President Leni Robredo is correct to call out the administration against this new rambling by President Duterte, which carries violent consequences.

Even PNP Chief Eleazar, in his statement last Sunday, acknowledged the points raised by the CHR as valid but still chose to side with the President’s pronouncement as the more reasonable move – arm civilian partners of the police so they could defend themselves against dangerous criminals.

That is counter-productive, sir! To say that vetting before issuing permits to carry firearms for your force multipliers is enough assurance to the public is really worth nothing at all. Proof: Staff Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, caught gunning down two unarmed civilians on video, December 2020; Master Sgt. Hensie Zinampan, shot his unarmed neighbor last May 31; and just last week, Executive M/Sgt. Reynante Dipasupil fired his gun indiscriminately at the Manila Police District headquarters, killing a fellow officer and wounding another.

Instead of arming civilians as Duterte implies so recklessly, Gen. Eleazar, try Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s suggestion. Enforce stricter gun control or, better yet, suspend the issuance of permits to carry firearms outside of residence. You want to go the extra mile? Sen. Ping even suggests leaving service pistols in the armory when a cop goes off duty.

*              *              *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

Advertisement - PS04spot_img

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertisement - PS05spot_img
Advertisement - PS01spot_img

Must read

Advertisement - PS03spot_img