Proposal to arm barangay officials, priests nixed

BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan disagrees to the proposal to arm barangay officials and priests, saying that allowing the said individuals to possess firearms could result to more violent incidents involving them instead of ensuring lasting peace in urban and rural areas in the country.

The local chief executive said that instead of ensuring the protection of barangay officials and priests from being exposed to untoward incidents that will compromise their safety and security, providing them with arms will definitely expose them to further threats that could cause their untimely demise as the worst case scenario.

“We do not agree to the proposal to arm our barangay officials and priests because it will surely become the root cause of unnecessary violent incidents compromising the safety and security of people. If an individual possesses a firearm, it could surely be used for violent incidents even if he or she has great control of himself because it could be used as his last line of defense against attacks that could lead to injury or even loss of lives,” Domogan stressed.

He explained that once an armed individual resorts to using his firearm to thwart whatever attacks against him, violence will surely happen which will be difficult to settle once the loss of lives will be involved, thus, the present dispensation where barangay officials are not armed is far better because once they will be involved in conflicts, it could be easily resolved considering the fact that there will no lives that will be lost aside from the fact that there will be injuries sustained by both parties.

According to him, there had been numerous incidents in the past involving individuals who were armed that nearly resulted or have resulted to brewing conflicts that is why barangay officials and priests should not be armed because they are just human beings.

He urged the Philippine National Police, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the National Police Commission and other concerned government agencies to conduct a serious study on the implications of providing arms to barangay officials and priests so that all issues and concerns will have to be effectively addressed and make their final recommendations to the Office of the President for consideration that the said proposal will not be actually be implemented because it will create more problems than solutions for the government wherein the country’s peace and order situation will be actually compromised.

Domogan added there are other alternative solutions to address the brutal murder of barangay officials and priests in the different parts of the country which must be studied instead of providing them arms so that violent incidents in the countryside could be avoided thereby ensuring the protection of life and limb.

For the past several months, a number of barangay officials and priests were shot to death by still unidentified gun-wielding individuals that prompted concerned sectors to propose the provision of arms to the said individuals for their protection from heats to their lives because of personal or work-related reasons being waged by their critics or those whom they have dealings with.

By Dexter A. See

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