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Duterte eyes arming barangay captains

ZAMBOANGA CITY—A day after he was cheered by barangay captains in Cagayan de Oro when he brought up the idea of giving them handguns, President Duterte told a gathering here that he was consulting with Cabinet officials to arm the 1,049  newly elected barangay officials and their respective tanods here.

But Duterte said he would not issue high powered firearms, but only shotguns for village officials and caliber 22 or Beretta for barangay tanods, preferably those who had undergone training in ROTC; and retired military and police officials.

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“Pag aralan muna namin sa (We are still studying it with the) cabinet.  I will consult (the cabinet) halos mga military man sila tanan (Most of them are military men. My proposal) is, no heavy firearm, just shotgun,” Duterte said.

He said he was aware that barangay officials were hesitant to confront criminals.  “I know you are afraid because you have no weapon, now that I give you weapon, you can fight,” Duterte said.

Don’t underestimate the power of a shotgun, he said. “Will you live if you’re hit by a shotgun? Just look at those who were hit.”

For barangay tanods or village security forces, Duterte said Beretta or caliber 22 would be enough to fight criminality.

“I am telling you as a trial lawyer handling homicide cases, once your liver or bladder or pancreas get hit by a 22, you only have 30 minutes to live, that’s true,” Duterte said. The more bullets hitting the body, the deadlier, he added.

In Cagayan de Oro City on Monday, Duterte was greeted by cheers when he asked a gathering of barangay captains if they wanted a handgun.

“I don’t know if the police and the military will agree, gusto ninyo ng handgun (do you want a handgun)?” the President asked to the loud clapping and cheering from barangay captains.  “Gusto jud mopatay ning mga buang (They really want to kill),” the President said, which was met by an even louder shouting.  “If you carry these things, be sure that you are doing it legally. I will conduct seminars,” he said.  “.22 (caliber pistols) will do, you don’t need a powerful firearm, because an M14 is too dangerous, once it fires, many people might get hit.”

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TAGS: barangay captains, Beretta, Cagayan de Oro, guns, Philippine news updates, President Duterte
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