Palace: Arming anti-crime volunteers not a gov’t policy yet
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte may be “open to the idea” of arming civilians to help law enforcers fight crime but this is not yet a government policy, Malacañang explained on Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said nothing is final at this point regarding the President’s concept.
“He (Duterte) is open to the idea pero wala pa naman pong finality ‘no,” he said in an online briefing.
(He is open to the idea but there is no finality yet.)
Duterte floated the plan during the launch of the Global Coalition of Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Support Groups and Force Multipliers, a group of civilians who partnered with the police in its campaign against criminality.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar backed the President’s idea, saying the suggestion was meant to ensure volunteers’ protection.
“Now sabi nga po ni chief PNP, we cannot allow these criminals—we cannot allow our volunteer groups to be at the mercy of criminal elements that we encourage them to fight alongside with us ‘no,” Roque said.
(Just like what the PNP chief said, we cannot allow these criminals—we cannot allow our volunteer groups to be at the mercy of criminal elements that we encourage them to fight alongside with us ‘no.)
“There is no policy yet, I’m sure it will be subjected to full staff work. Pero meanwhile eh may realidad na habang tumutulong ang mga volunteers ay may banta rin sa kanilang mga buhay,” he went on.
(There is no policy yet, I’m sure it will be subjected to full staff work. Meanwhile, there’s the reality that the volunteers’ lives are at stake while they help the law enforcers.)
Several lawmakers, groups, and even Vice President Leni Robredo expressed concern over the idea as it could lead to abuses.
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