L AW M A KERS yesterday expressed fear that the proposal of President Duterte to arm barangay captains will only crea temore
Caloocan Rep. Egdar Erice said arming some 40,000 barangay leaders is tantamount to the creation of private armies.
“Arming Barangay captains of the 40,000 barangays simply means creating a private army of political kingpins in cities, provinces and municipalities. It’s a wild wild west scenario,” said Erice.
Instead of arming barangay captains, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said the government should focus on improving the police force.
“We should instead focus on equipping our police force with right equipment and training. Kulang na kulang pa rin ang ating mga kapulisan hanggang ngayon. Kahit nga may training ang ating mga pulis nagkakaproblema pa lalo na kung yung wala o limitado ang karanasan at pagsasanay ng mg a opisyales ng barangay,” said Alejano.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat expressed fear that the proposal will only lead to more serious problems.
“As a former Governor and Mayor, I know that barangay officials are not equipped to do law enforcement using guns,” Baguilat said. “They don’t have the skill, orientation and education. Their primary task in law enforcement is to act as monitors for the police, help enforce local ordinances and report the more serious crimes to capable law enforcers.”
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said the proposal will only promote the culture of violence.
“Arming barangay officials is a recipe for disaster. It becomes a problem and not the solution. With loose guns already a big problem, allowing more firearms even if licensed would perpetuate a culture of violence and abuse of power by persons of authority of which punong barangays are considered as such. Instead of being peaceful mediators, conciliators or arbitrators, you will turn them into armed enforcers or worst armed goons of politicians. It goes against the intent and spirit of the Local Government Code and the barangay justice system.”