Monday, November 19, 2012

POSO needs firearms, says chief

DAGUPAN CITY – Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) Chief Robert Erfe-Mejia proposed the creation of a “Special Reaction Team” composed of at least 10 armed POSO men that would directly pursue criminals and other law breakers here.
Erfe-Mejia made the proposal after the so-called “Martilyo Gang” robbed in broad daylight the BHF Gemline pawnshop on A.B, Fernandez Avenue here, carting away jewelry items and cash worth P10 million.
A POSO operative reportedly responded to the crime with bare hands, but ran away for cover after noticing that the robbers were armed to the teeth.

He said the firearms can be reasonably used by the POSO personnel, especially in extreme cases.
“For us to be able to respond swiftly and effectively, we need arms because it’s not surprising to know that these cold-blooded offenders have high-powered firearms,” he explained.
He cautioned the public against ‘instinctive behavior’ of criminal elements roaming around the city’s commercial districts with the advent of the Christmas season, requiring a sustained peacekeeping force from the POSO.
“However, holders of firearms have to go through the necessary processes like neuro-psychiatric test, drug tests and trainings on the proper handling of firearms,” he said.
A recent GMA Primera Balita interview with city residents showed that they favor Erfe-Mejia’s proposal with most respondents saying “there is nothing wrong about arming the POSO personnel, if that would mean that Dagupan will be more safe and secure and that these weapons will be used solely for that purpose.”
Tricycle driver Ricky Vidal said “kasi lagi naman po silang nasa kalye eh, mas makakabuti na rin po na may mga armas din sila upang makatulong sa pwersa ng ating mga pulis.”

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