PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he was open to the idea of a new group of anti-crime volunteers to be issued firearms licenses, believing they can be “force multipliers” in the fight against criminality.
“That is why that is good because if you have this coalition, you have a list of people who are there and who can arm themselves. I will order the police. If you are qualified, get a gun and help us enforce the laws,” Duterte said during the recent launch of the Global Coalition of Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Support Groups and Force Multipliers at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
He added it was essential to arm people arresting criminals who may be armed.
“Do not simply say you’re making an arrest kasi tapos wala kang…ikaw ang mamatay (because without a gun, you will die). You’re not supposed to die. The criminal must die, you must live,” said.
He further said the coalition “is a testament to the desire of private citizens and our communities to take part in the difficult task of achieving lasting peace across the nation.”
“Let me therefore thank our dedicated advocacy groups and force multipliers who will play an important role in helping the PNP fulfill its mandate and, especially, in restoring and reinforcing public trust in our police force,” he added.Duterte, however, said the members of the volunteer group should be aware of procedures in making arrests and apprehensions.