Duterte says it's important to arm firemen
President Rodrigo Duterte stressed the importance of arming the members of the Bureau of Fire Protection as he signed the BFP Modernization Act on Friday.
Duterte explained that there are times their lives are being threatened by the residents or the victims of fires.
"If there is fire, especially if it’s a conflagration, that is really a big one, the people want the firefighter to prioritize their houses, and if the firefighter were not able to prioritize their area, they will get angry. Either they threaten the firefighters who are helpless because while fighting the fire, they have to also address the challenges of those who are angry at them. Some even threaten then with bolo or firearm," he said.
"The police do not actually enter the area of the fire incident, they usually deploy outside, they maintain the traffic, but seldom do they participate in the midst of putting out the fire. Some who are angry even cut the hose so there are so many challenges in the work of a firefighter in the day of his life that should be protected," he added.
Duterte said although he is in favor of arming the firefighters he said he will also respect the decision of Congress on the matter.
"So, we thought of just providing firearms, not all, well that is for the wisdom of Congress. We will bow to it. But if... we can just give them some, there may be a unit or function who’d really be just to ward off threats and destruction of government property," he said.
Duterte said fire fighters can be called upon during emergencies to contribute to law and order of the place.
" But they have to have something, because of the semblance here in the Philippines, it’s sad to say it but here the symbol of a firearm. If the people, do not see firearms they will not follow. That is the reason why we include it in the modernization (act)," he added. Robina Asido/DMS