Zambo needs security plan, not arming of brgy officials — Beng PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 July 2013 11:11

Mayor Beng Climaco is reserved on the idea of arming barangay officials on a massive scale, following District 2 Councilor Roel “Elong” Natividad’s recent public pronouncement, that village leaders should be “armed to the teeth” in order to be of great help to authorities in fighting criminalities.

“The city government already gave firearms to some barangay officials in the past, and as a result, one barangay kagawad even shot a civilian recently, using a gun, so we have to further study whether such proposal is really the answer to our peace and order problem,” Climaco said during RPN’s ‘Zamboanga, Tiempo Ya!’ radio program yesterday.

She added: “Besides, we have to find out whether arming barrio officials en masse, is allowed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), considering also that we have an existing gun ban, being implemented in the city”.

The lady mayor instead floated the possibility for the city to come-up with a long-term security plan, where all details on how to fight criminality will be specified.

“Arming people, like barangay officials, should really have to pass through a very rigid evaluation, and it entails a well-meaning plan. We do not want to issue them machine guns, if indeed they only need short firearms like .45 caliber pistols. Also, we have to determine whether the type of firearms issued them (barangay officials), is commensurate to their skills,” Climaco pointed out.

Meanwhile, the mayor expressed similar reservation on Natividad’s proposal that barangay chairmen, as well as barangay councils peace and order committee chairmen, should equally sit as members of the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC), augmenting said council’s present composition.

“DILG will call and convene them on barangay level, and even we don’t convene them, they (barangays) already have an existing justice and peace and order system of governance, through their pangkats, tanods, and barangay intelligence networks (BIN),” she said.

The mayor however, appreciated how the city council’s peace and order committee chairman is doing his job in ensuring that crimes are prevented, minimized, if not totally eliminated. — Philip Abuy