DAVAO CITY, Philippines- A local government official here believed arming barangay officials will not help curb criminality in their respective jurisdiction.

Department of Interior and Local Government Regional Director Alex Roldan said he sees no need to give arms to village officials.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Roldan said that arming village officials as an aid to cut criminality will only give a different perception to the public that the local government cannot resolve problems in his area.

On his recent visit to Cagayan de Oro, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would issue firearms on village officials, but only limited to shotguns and caliber 22 or Beretta for barangay tanods.

In his speech, he said that they are still studying the possibility and will consult the members of his cabinet.

“I know you are afraid because you have no weapon, now that I give you weapon, you can fight,” Duterte told the assembly of de Oro’s barangay captains.

DILG’s Roldan said that in his personal view, it will not solve the problem of criminality but instead it will attract more problem to the community.

He also added that the military and police are already enough to fight criminality and solve the peace and security issue.

“I don’t believe that arming them would be the solution, as I have said why don’t we leave it to the experts,” said Roldan.

Roldan believes that it is best to enhance the capacity of local officials in their line of service to their respective constituents instead of giving them guns.

The peace and order situation according to Roldan is always associated with poverty and inefficient service of the government.

Instead of arming local officials, the government should look on how to improve the capacity and efficiency of services.

“If we can resolve this, we can also address the problem of the insurgency,” said Roldan.

Under the Section 387 of the Local Government Code, village leaders are allowed to possess and carry firearms in the performance of their peace and order functions. (davaotoday.com)

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