Mayor presses need for arming barangay chiefs Print
Thursday, 28 June 2018 11:21

Mayor Beng Climaco on Tuesday sought out Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to plead for the arming of the city’s barangay chairmen given the security challenges in Zamboanga.

This, following President Duterte’s statement during the mass oath taking of Region 9 barangay chairmen in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur stressing on the need of issuing firearms for barangay captain to protect them from threats against them.

Climaco, who heads the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) has been supporting the move to arm the barangays to protect the people. On various instances, she has made representations with national government agencies to address the issue on the firearms that were earlier issued but later surrendered by barangay officials due to the new policy of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Following President Duterte’s statement, I immediately spoke to Sec. Año on allowing barangays to be armed given the challenges of security for Zamboanga City,” the mayor, who was at Molave to personally lead the Zamboanga delegation, said.

She said the Department of Interior and Local Government will study the possibility and that based on her brief conversation with Sec. Ano, “barangay chairpersons can own firearms and DILG will facilitate in expediting the firearms license.”

President Duterte in his speech at the Molave gymnasium challenged Region 9 barangay captains to diligently do their mandated tasks particularly on the fight against terrorism and drugs and he will help in arming them. “Magtrabaho kayo at bigyan ko kayo ng armas, but I want terrorism and drugs and I will have an audit and if you are not at par, I will file charges against you for incompetence,” the president declared.

Duterte exhorted the barangay officials to defend the country at all times through two things – one, protect the people of the Republic of the Philippines and two, to preserve the nation. (Sheila Covarrubias/PR)