By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) thumbed down a proposal to disarm police officers during their off days.
This comes amid the recent controversies involving the killing of an unarmed woman in Quezon City last month and the murder of two people in Paniqui, Tarlac in December of last year.
Both cases were believed to be due to long standing feuds.
NOCPPO spokesperson Lt. Abegael Donasco said disarming off-duty cops would be disadvantageous, pointing out they won’t be able to respond immediately if a crime was committed within their area.
Donasco also pointed out that the lives of off-duty cops will also be put in danger, as there are some who would also like to kill them, especially those who may have bumped into criminal gangs or individuals.
Donasco further pointed out that ever since Police Colonel Romy Palgue came into office as director of NOCPPO, there had been no case in the province wherein an off duty cop had shot someone due to a feud or a misunderstanding.
Earlier in May, drunk Police Master Sgt. Hensie Zinampan shot and killed 52-year-old Lilybeth Valdez outside a sari-sari store in Fairview, Quezon City.
Police believed that the murder stemmed over an incident involving a fist fight between Zinampan and Valdez’ son on May 1.
In December of last year, Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca also shot and killed 52-year-old Sonya Gregorio and his 25-year-old son Frank Gregorio in Paniqui, Tarlac which stemmed over a long standing feud between Nuezca and the Gregorio family.
Both incidents have triggered calls from various groups and politicians to disarm police officers whenever they are off duty.
Philippine National Police chief General Guillermo Eleazar had already bucked the proposal, pointing out that it would be disadvantageous to the police force./DGB, WDJ