Arming villagechiefs must be under bounds of law but not at this time

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan –The police find no problem in the request of barangay officials of Pangasinan to be armed as they are now reportedly alarmed over of the growing list of their members being killed for as long as this is within the bounds of the law.

This was made it clear by Supt. Jackie Candelario, deputy police provincial director, commenting on the request of ex-officio Provincial Board Member Jinky Zaplan, president of the provincial federation of barangay councils, for permission to arm themselves for their own protection from any person who may want to harm them.

However, Candelario said over a local radio station on Saturday that this may be difficult to grant yet at this time considering the fact that the war on drug was not over and that many drug personalities were still on the loose.

On top of this, many barangays of Pangasinan are yet to be cleared.

Zaplan admitted many barangay captains in Pangasinan were alarmed over the growing list of barangay officials being killed, six of them from December last year to middle of January this year alone.

There were many more who were killed from July to November last year,

Zaplan said not all of these were killed because of drugs but for other reasons, including personal.

For his part, Candelario did not hide the fact that based on the revelation of drug personalities who surrendered to the police last year, some barangay officials were involved in illegal drug trade and had yet to surrender.He urged those involved to surrender and to get out of this illegal activity.

Instead of arming themselves, the barangay captains who had received death threats should request for security from the police, he added.

If not for the barangay captains, no barangay was cleared of illegal drugs, he added.

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