PNP warns of ‘tokhang’ for security firms keeping high powered firearms
Marje Pelayo • August 22, 2019 • 536
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police Civil Security Group (PNPCSG) warns security agencies of facing ‘tokhang’ if they will not surrender all high-powered firearms in their possession.
According to PNP-CSG Director Police Brigadier General Roberto Fajardo, since May 20, 2017, the law prohibits civilians from owning high-powered firearms especially those who are not members of the PNP and the military.
Only government law enforcers including members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are allowed to possess one.
Security guards, on the other hand, are allowed to possess shotguns.
“We will issue cease to operate at hindi namin ire-renew yung kanilang license to operate (we will not renew their license to operate),” warned Police BGen. Roberto Fajardo.
“I-tokhang na natin yang may mga high powered firearms na i-surrender, kasi ang tokhang ay pakiusap e na iturn over yung kanilang high powered, so itokhang natin (We will place them under tokhang if they will not surrender their high-powered firearms. Tokhang is ‘knock and plead’ so we will ask them to surrender them),” the PNP CSG director added.
Meanwhile, Fajardo noted that they will investigate why security firm AY-Security Specialist Incorporated in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental still owns high-powered firearms.
The firearms were discovered when members of the New People’s Army (NPA) stormed the security agency and robbed about five units of AK-47 in August 19.
“(Si) President na ang nag utos na wala dapat high powered firearms ang mga different security agencies (No less than the President ordered that security agencies should not be safekeeping high-powered firearms),” Fajardo said.
“Unang-una kasi hindi naman sila trained to use high powered firearms so ire-revoke namin yung mga licenses (Primarily because they are not trained to use high-powered firearms so we will revoke their licenses),” he added.
The official assured that government troops are continuously hunting the rebels who took the firearms from the agency. Apart from the AK-47 units, the rebels also took several magazines and ammunitions as well as a handheld radio device. – MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said that cops included in the narco-list who opted to file for optional retirement will not be exonerated from criminal charges if they are found to be involved in the illegal drug trade.
Año made the statement Wednesday after some members of the opposition group slammed reports on the move of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to give the 357 cops included in the narco-list the option to retire early to reduce the cases for adjudication.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa earlier said he is open to optional retirement of police officers accused of having drug links to lessen the government resources that will be used when the adjudication begins.
He, however, asserted that the early retirement won’t clear the cops from allegations and that this is not an easy way out.
He added that any officer who initially availed of the early retirement option will be pursued if proven to be involved in the narcotics trade.
Gamboa recently met with most of the 357 cops and explained to them the process of the two-way adjudication to be initiated based on his request to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The process involves adjudication at the regional and directorial level for one week before the cases go to the national level which will handle the cases for three weeks.
Once all the cases are submitted to the Office of the PNP Chief, it will take three days for him to submit the results of the adjudication for approval.
Año said the 357 cops accused of having drug links should present proof to remove their names from the narco-list.
“Patunayan nilang wala silang kaugnayan sa iligal na droga. Nasa kanila ang burden of proof, iprisinta nila ang mga ebidensya na magpapatunay na wala silang kinalaman at kaugnayan sa iligal na droga,” he said.
The DILG chief said the evidence should be presented to four agencies handling illegal drug reports – the PNP, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Hanggang hindi nagkakaroon ng pagkakasundo ang apat na ahensyang ito, hangga’t hindi nila sinasabi ng ‘Okay na yan’, magpapatuloy ang imbestigasyon,” he said.
The narco-list is a consolidation of intelligence and other reports from law-enforcement agencies and still needs to be verified and validated. Aside from uniformed personnel, the list also includes local officials and judges as well as other personalities.
Once a complaint is filed, it can be validated within a month, Año said.
He also said that the final clearance will come from the President.
“Gusto nating maparusahan ang mga may kaugnayan sa iligal na droga” Año said. “I commend PNP Chief Gamboa for having the courage in resolving this issue na matagal ng burden ng PNP. We need to deal with this para makapagtrabaho na nang matino ang ating mga pulis,” he added.
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