Mall guards now required to carry firearms

From a report by Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 30 2013 10:03 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2013 06:19 AM

MANILA – Following the security lapses exposed in the SM Megamall heist, mall security guards throughout the country will now be required to carry firearms.

The memorandum was issued by the Philippine National Police's Supervisory Office for Security and Investigative Agencies (PNP-SOSIA).

“If the guards are armed, it is already a deterrent to would be criminals,” said PNP-SOSIA chief Supt. Tomas Rentoy III.

If a mall violates the order, it will be slapped with a penalty. The fines will be discussed on Thursday.

Some guards welcome the move.

“Pagnagkaroon man ng engkwentro na ganoon, madali kami makakaresponde at may laban kami,” a security guard said.

But others said allowing guards to carry firearms is still not a guarantee of security.

“’Yung mga kriminal, pinapag-aralan din nila ang galaw ng mga guard. Minsan siguro mayroon silang lookout sa loob,” said another guard.

Guards will also be required to undergo a 5-day mall security specialized seminar course with the PNP.

Failure to attend will mean the non-renewal of their licenses.

The PNP is also requiring malls to upgrade their CCTV cameras to models that can take better videos, which will allow for the easier identification of suspects in crimes. -- ANC