By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) commander, Major General Jon Aying, yesterday expressed his opposition to the proposal by Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña to deputize licensed gun owner to, as the mayor put, assist and participate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to combat the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Only the police and the military should bear firearms,” said Aying.
He noted, while he respects the mayor’s proposal, he believes the setup may evolve into a private armed group.
“It may cause another problem,” said Aying.
The local army commander explained, Negros has been identified as a “hotbed” for private armed groups, often used by businessmen and politicians. He added, these groups are part of the overall anti-criminality campaign.
Last month, Peña penned the proposal to President Rodrigo Duterte, claiming the plan could “eliminate” the rebel group in “five years or less, or at least during the term of President Duterte.”/WDJ