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A gun to fight crime? Drilon doubts effectivity of arming barangay chiefs

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Senator Frank Drilon believes that it is “not a proper policy” to arm the sectors just because a member of that sector gets killed.

He made the remark when asked to comment on the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to arm barangay captains to make them more effective peacekeepers.

“You kill a prosecutor, arm the prosecutor; you kill a judge, arm the judges; you kill a journalist, arm the journalists. Now, arm the barangay captains? That is over 42,000 barangay chairmen,” he said.

“I don’t think it is a correct policy that every time a violent incident, the response is arm them,” Drilon said on Thursday in a media forum.

He said the solution is to enforce the rule of law, strengthen the criminal justice system, hold the Phil. National Police (PNP) responsible, and impose the standards on law enforcement “that the people deserve.”

“May mga three-strike policy diyan. We must make criminals pay and restore respect for law,” the Senate minority leader said.

“Right now there is a breakdown of law and order. The feeling of our people is that there is a culture of impunity,” he said.

Drilon added, “I am not happy with the law and enforcement aspect of our governance. I’m not convinced that they are doing their job.”

“We should do everything in order to restore the confidence of our people in our justice system,” he said.

Asked whether arming barangay captains will even lead to rise in criminality, Drilon said, “Unless we are able to put a stop to all of these, the culture of impunity will be more pronounced, and that is not good for us.”

On the other hand, he deplored the killing of three priests by unidentified gunmen in a span of 6 months.

“It is very alarming. Bakit po nila binabaril ang mga pari? I cannot blame the Church for reacting the way Archbishop (Socrates) Villegas is reacting,” Drilon said.

“We support such move by the Church. This (killing of priests) cannot be allowed to continue,” he added.