Guevarra speaks out against arming civilian volunteers
MANILA, Philippines-The government does not need to arm civilian volunteers to fight crime, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday.
“I believe that the PNP is strong enough to perform this duty. besides, except for a few high-profile incidents of violence, criminality on the streets is at an all-time low, due in part to the pandemic,” Guevarra said told reporters.
The Department of Justice chief is the latest high-ranking official to speak out against the idea to arm civilians involved with peace and order activities.
Duterte, during the launch of the Global Coalition of Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Support Groups and Force Multipliers in Camp Crame, spoke about arming civilians who fight crime.
As with any other gun owners, Guevarra said civilian volunteers would have to pass the same process.
“Civilians have always been free to arm themselves for their protection, provided they comply with all existing laws and regulations on the ownership, possession, and carrying of firearms outside residence, including the requirement to pass a NeuroPsychiatric Test,” he said.
As Guevarra noted, however, it would be an entirely different matter if the civilian volunteers were allowed “to band together and act like vigilante [groups].”
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