Police in Philippines support plan to arm firefighters

World Sunday 04/August/2019 16:38 PM
By: Times News Service
Police in Philippines support plan to arm firefighters

Manila: The Philippines National Police (PNP) said plans of President Rodrigo Duterte to arm uniformed personnel of the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) will bolster law enforcement and help in maintaining peace and order according to state media.

“This move of tapping the BFP as force multiplier by allowing its uniformed personnel to bear firearms would also further bolster the government's campaign against criminality,” PNP spokesperson, Brig Gen Bernard Banac said in a statement.

“Many times, responding firemen hesitate to enter a fire scene without sufficient security cover by their local police counterparts due to past incidents wherein angry mob attacked firemen at the fire scene out of frustrations,” Banac said.

“If licensed private security guards are allowed by law to carry licensed firearms to serve as force multipliers of the PNP, then there’s more reason that uniformed BFP personnel, who could also be targeted by criminals, shall also be issued firearms for self-defence, with proper training on marksmanship and gun safety, and for peace and order tasks,” he added.

On Thursday, Duterte said firefighters should not limit themselves to just “fire prevention”.

“You must help, and you must have killed the enemy, because your enemy will really kill you,” Duterte said during the BFP’s 28th founding anniversary held at the Philippine International Convention Center.

He also promised to upgrade the BFP’s capability by purchasing more fire trucks and providing more training.