Police urge persons with death threats to legally arm themselves
FOLLOWING the ambush-slay of Ermita barangay captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta in the hands of two gunmen and amid calls for allowing civilians and barangay officials to carry firearms, Cebu City Police Chief Senior Supt. Joel Doria encouraged those with death threats to legally arm themselves.
He said civilians and barangay officials equipped with the proper papers such as a License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOP), a license for the firearm and a Permit to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) can carry firearms.
He said that a number of individuals have reported to the police about threats to their lives.
Doria said death threats are valid bases to get a PTCFOR, but these threats are still subject to validation.
The Cebu City police chief however reminded everyone, including barangay officials, to always be vigilant especially if they have already encountered threats.
Some barangay captains in Cebu City welcomed the police chief’s suggestion.
Pasil barangay captain Julius Guioguio said he favors arming barangay officials.
“As a leader, we don’t know if with our programs in the barangay, there may be some that are against it. It would be difficult if you don’t have anything to protect yourself,” he said in Cebuano.
He pointed out that if Rupinta had carried a firearm with him when he was tailed by the gunmen, he could have been able to defend himself from the assailants.
Although he has not received any personal death threats for now, Guioguio said it is always better to still be vigilant.
He said he bought his own firearm but could not use it since he hasn’t worked on his permits yet.
For his part, Duljo Fatima barangay captain Elmer Abella also said he favored the idea of allowing barangay officials to carry firearms.
“There are still no threats on my safety for now. But it is always good to have protection. You never know what will happen in this day and age,” he said in Cebuano.
Abella recalled that during the time of former Mayor Michael Rama, barangay captains were issued firearms.
But these were recalled last year as City Hall had to work on its documents.
It was in July last year when Mayor Tomas Osmeña issued a memorandum recalling all firearms issued to city officials including barangay officials after their permits and licenses were found to have already expired.
According to Department of General Services head Ronaldo Malacora, they are still processing the permits and licenses of around 300 city-owned firearms.
He said the permits are still pending with Camp Crame, the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police in Manila.
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