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President Duterte mulls arming village chiefs
By Ashley Manabat

Jun 13, 2018

CLARK FREEPORT — To enhance his war on illegal drugs and criminality, President Rodrigo Duterte is considering arming barangay chiefs and officials.

“I might consider arming you if I think in my assessment and evaluation… and I will ask the police and the intelligence community if you are really into it (fighting crime). I will support you. I will grant you possession and to carry your firearms,” Duterte told close to 3,000 barangay chairmen in Central Luzon taking their oath at the ASEAN Convention Center here on Tuesday.

The President added that he will intervene should anyone file a case against the barangay chiefs while doing their job.

“Remember this.If you get in trouble, and there is a case filed against you and you think you are in the performance of your duty as a barangay (captain) and you killed or maul the suspect, do not be afraid. The only thing I ask of you is.. If you are wrong who committed the mistake, don’t seek for my assistance,” he said.

If a barangay captain is killed in the fight against crime and illegal drugs, Duterte said he may even look into the case and take action against the culprits.

“Hindi ko kayo pababayaan (I will not leave you). At kung sakali man at kayo’y madisgrasya, magtatanong ako. Magtatanong ako at reresbak ako (And if you may be endangered, I will ask. I will ask and I will make retribution),” he said.

Reports indicate that Duterte first made the proposal to arm the village chiefs against illegal drugs in a speech with barangay officials in Region VII last week.

“I said, no corruption… I’m doing it. You saw that I’m working against corruption and drugs. I don’t know if you can --- General Año and I will discuss giving you arms,” the president said.



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