Zamboanga mayor seeks to arm village officials

MAYOR Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar on Tuesday sought out Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to plead for the arming local village chairpersons given the security challenges in Zamboanga City.

This, following President Duterte’s statement during the mass oath taking of Region 9 barangay chairmen in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur stressing on the need of issuing firearms for barangay captains to protect them from threats.

Salazar, who heads the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), has been supporting the move to arm the villages to protect the people.

On various instances, she has made representations with national government agencies to address the issue on the firearms that were earlier issued but later surrendered by village officials due to the new policy of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Following President Duterte’s statement, I immediately spoke to Sec. Año on allowing barangays to be armed given the challenges of security for Zamboanga City,” she said.

The mayor was in Molave to personally lead the Zamboanga delegation in the mass oath taking ceremony.

She said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will study the possibility and that based on her brief conversation with Ano, “barangay chairpersons can own firearms and DILG will facilitate in expediting the firearms license.” (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)


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