PNP summons guards wielding rifle, baseball bat in Taguig mall
MANILA, Philippines--The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday summoned two security guards who were seen brandishing an M-16 rifle and a baseball bat at a Taguig mall in a video that went viral on social media over the weekend.
Chief Superintendent Noel Constantino, chief of the PNP Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (Sosia), said in an interview that he had issued a directive to the still unnamed guards to surface and explain to Sosia the incident that was captured by a reporter on video.
On Saturday night, two security personnel pointed the high-powered rifle to the crowd while another brandished a baseball bat and banged it against a table at a Market! Market! food stall.
“I already signed a directive to summon the guards involved as well as the security agency operator,” Constantino said.
The guards were under Jarton Security Agency Inc. They were relieved from their posts a day after the incident.
”Two things, one, we will ask them to shed light on the matter. Second, we saw a probable violation. The guard is armed with an M-16. Both the guard and the security agency may be liable for this,” he said.
Constantino said Jarton did not declare an M-16 being issued to a security guard in its monthly disposition report dated November 14.
The monthly disposition report is a document that licensed security agencies have to submit to show the number of the guards they deployed in a particular area and the firearms they use.
Constantino said Jarton and its security guards may face two grave offenses: issuance of unlicensed firearms and violation of code of conduct for the guards.
”All of these are grave offenses. These may lead to the cancellation of the security agency and the guards’ license,” he added.
The security agency may also be held liable for failing to report the incident to the police station concerned and to Sosia.
But Constantino said the PNP will continue to investigate the incident while waiting for the agency and the guards’ side.
“Kung pagbabasehan sa video, masyadong premature, pero dapat maximun tolerance dapat,” he said.
“You don’t just go there na parang si Rambo ka. Napakarami ng tao. Kapag nakalabit mo ‘yung M-16 delikado.”
Constantino, however, did not rule out the possibility that the guards might have been provoked and used the rifle and the bat for self-defense.
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