By Genalyn D. Kabiling
The proposed arming of barangay captains keen on fighting crime and illegal drugs is not yet final, Malacañang said yesterday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Duterte was still studying the proposal to give weapons to barangay captains to avoid the possibility of arming any rogue village official.
“Hindi pa pinal. Pinag-aaralan pa ‘yan ng ating Presidente,” Roque said. “Hindi pa nai-implement ni Presidente ‘yan at ikukunsidera ni Presidente syempre ‘yung kabi-lang aspeto naman, the other side of that equation and that is naku, kapag naarmasan ang narco list na mga barangay officials ay siyempre lalo sila magiging mas makapangyarihan,” Roque added.
Nonetheless, Roque said the Department of Interior and Local Government has clarified that the possibility of arming barangay captains has legal basis. He said Section 387 of the Local Government Code allows the issuance of firearms to barangay officials subject to the requirements by the police.
Roque also said he believes the Philippine National Police has the “discretion” on the issuance of gun licenses and permits to carry to applicants. “Hindi naman siguro lahat. Kung mayroong bad record ‘yan, hindi mabibigyan.”