Briones: My aversion to guns

On The Go

I don’t have a gun. I don’t want to own one, either.

There was a time, more than a decade ago, when journalists were offered the chance to have one. Or something like that.

I don’t exactly remember the details, it was that long ago, but it had something to do with us legally purchasing a gun, getting trained to use it and then not worrying about the tedious process of applying for a permit to carry because the police would facilitate it for us.

Again, my memory of this is sketchy because I didn’t show any interest when the offer was made. A reporter who would know is no longer with us. In fact, he left the media altogether. The last time I heard he joined the academe.

I’m bringing this up because this administration’s war against criminality has highlighted the problem of the proliferation of firearms.

Slain suspected drug personalities and other criminals would still be alive today if they didn’t try to pull out a gun during an operation gone wrong. I mean, that’s what the police have been saying, haven’t they? That they were forced to fire or to engage a suspect in a gunfight after the latter shot at them.

Isn’t that what happened in Lusaran, Cebu City last Friday dawn, Feb. 22?

Members of the City Mobile Force Company (CMFC) went to the mountain barangay and knocked on tanod Renato Goc-ong’s door past 1 a.m.

They were there to serve a search warrant after receiving reports that Goc-ong and a fellow tanod, Reynaldo Laguna, owned unlicensed firearms and were carrying them around in public.

They were met by Goc-ong’s wife Emma. When told about the police’s purpose, she hurriedly shut the door behind her.

Members of the CMFC barged inside to go after her.

One of the tanods shot PO3 Pacheco Pulgo at close range. The bullet hit Pulgo in the right side of the body. The policeman would have died if he hadn’t worn a bulletproof vest, said Cebu City Police Office Director Royina Garma.

Goc-ong, Emma and Laguna were not so lucky. Their dead bodies were found when the gunfight died down.

Garma received reports that some tanods carried their firearms in public. She said these tanods were identified as goons and were used during elections.

Also last Friday, Jeremias Herbieto, a former policeman who had posted bail on the charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm, was killed along with three others when men on board two motorcycles suddenly fired at them on the highway in Consolacion.

The attack happened in broad daylight.

Based on initial investigation, the victims were all headed to Barangay Garing on separate motorcycles.

Herbieto was heading home with his wife as passenger. She survived. As for the other three victims, it appeared they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Collateral damage.

Police believed Herbieto was the target. Then again, maybe he wasn’t. Either way, they were killed by gun-wielding men.

I don’t know what it was last Friday, but four more were shot dead on separate occasions.

One of them was Ken Kenneth Rosales, the “no. 2 ecstasy dealer” in Cebu. Police said they aimed for his leg, but the suspect kept shooting at them, which forced them to shoot him in the body. Maybe Rosales thought the only way to go was through a hail of bullets. Like Bonnie and Clyde.

Eleven people dead in one day. All by gunshot.

That’s why I don’t like guns.


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