PNP: Armed firefighters will boost government’s anti-crime drive
MANILA, Philippines — Armed firefighters will give the government’s drive against criminality a boost, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said following the suggestion of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) with guns.
“The PNP supports the idea of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to arm uniformed members of the BFP as augmentation forces in law enforcement and public order operations of the police,” PNP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement Friday.
“This move of tapping the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) as force multiplier by allowing its uniformed personnel to bear firearms would also further bolster the government’s campaign against criminality and effectively capacitate the BFP in responding to national emergency,” Banac added.
After Duterte made the suggestion, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said he was also in favor of the idea “at least for self-defense.”
Banac said security has always been a concern of the BFP “everytime its personnel respond to fire incidents due to unruly evacuees.”
“If licensed private security guards are allowed by law to carry licensed firearms to serve as force multipliers of the PNP, then there’s more reason that uniformed BFP personnel, who could also be targeted by criminals, shall also be issued firearms for self defense, with proper training on marksmanship and gun safety, and for peace and order tasks,” the PNP spokesperson added. /muf
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