Police chief: Gun muzzle-taping for holidays is unnecessary

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Monday, December 23, 2013


CEBU -- A police director said he is hoping to do away next year the annual muzzle-taping of policemen’s firearms as the activity is “unnecessary” and would only waste funds.

About 120 police officers simultaneously taped their firearm’s muzzle at the Police Regional Office- Central Visayas (PRO 7) at Camp Sergio Osmeña on Monday to avoid indiscriminate firing during the holidays.

PRO-7 Director Chief Superintendent Danilo Constantino, during the ceremony, however, said: “Personally, I don’t think we should be doing this. We should be responsible enough to know when to use our firearms.”

Constantino said that police officers should instead be reminded of the consequences if they choose to go against the policy.

Policemen who violate the policy will face a recommendation of dismissal from service with corresponding criminal charges.

The police director also urged gun owners to be responsible as indiscriminate firing has resulted in many deaths in the past.

“We could celebrate the holidays in simple ways. They say fireworks drive bad spirits away, but hindi ang putok ng baril (but not the firing of a gun),” he said.

Exemption

Constantino said police officers can still use their firearms in pursuit of criminal elements.

“We can still use it (firearm) to protect other people or in self-defense,” he said.

Police visibility

The PRO 7 has been on heightened alert since December 16 until the end of the Sinulog festivities in January.

Some 50 personnel from the Regional Public Safety Battalion 7 were deployed in Metro Cebu to beef up local police.

Police outposts have also been installed near shopping malls, churches and other business establishments for police visibility.

Constantino said they will make patrols in areas that have automated teller machines (ATMs) to discourage criminals who want to take advantage of people withdrawing money.

A memorandum has also been circulated in different police units for the 45th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26.

Meanwhile, policemen from other regions across the country have also conducted Monday the yearly muzzle-taping of their firearms. Among them were the PRO Davao Region and the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 24, 2013.

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