PNP backs arming fire personnel
The Philippine National Police has expressed support on President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement to arm uniformed personnel of the Bureau of Fire and Protection.
In a statement, Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, said the PNP agreed that BFP personnel could be force multipliers in the law enforcement and and in maintaining public order.
“If licensed private security guards are allowed by law to carry licensed firearms to serve as force multipliers of the PNP, then there’s more reason that uniformed BFP personnel, who could also be targeted by criminals, shall also be issued firearms for self defense, with proper training on marksmanship and gun-safety, and for peace and order tasks,” Banac said.
“This move of tapping the BFP as force multipliers by allowing its uniformed personnel to bear firearms would also further bolster the government's campaign against criminality and effectively capacitate the BFP in responding to national emergency,” he said.
The PNP spokesperson said Section 12 of Republic Act 6975 provides that, “in times of national emergency, all elements of the PNP, the Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology shall, upon direction of the President, assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines in meeting the national emergency.”
Banac said security has always been a serious concern of the BFP everytime its personnel respond to fire incidents due to unruly evacuees.
“Many times, responding firemen hesitate to enter a fire scene without sufficient security cover by their local police counterparts due to past incidents wherein angry mob attacked firemen at the fire scene out of frustrations,” he said.
During the 28th founding anniversary of the BFP in Pasay City, Duterte said firemen should be armed so that they could help in maintaining peace and order. Ella Dionisio/DMS