PNP chief opts for tasers, ‘non-lethal’ weapons, as incidents put police in spotlight

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2020 08:01 PM

MANILA--The chief of the Philippine National Police said Thursday his office will buy more "non-lethal" weapons to help enforce lockdown policies in the country, in the wake of police-related violent incidents this month.

Gen. Archie Gamboa told reporters that the police force will be buying more tasers and other electronic intervention equipment that are "non-violent" in implementing the enhanced community quarantine in the Philippines.

"All of these things are being evaluated by the (PNP) Directorate for Logistics under the procurement management committee
who deliberates on what to procure," he said.

The PNP has been criticized, after a former soldier was gunned down by a police officer at a quarantine checkpoint in Quezon City.

Public uproar also ignited after a foreigner with a spinal injury was forcibly dropped to the ground and nearly arrested in an exclusive village in Makati City after he berated police officers for accosting his maid, who was not wearing a face mask despite city ordinances requiring residents to do so.

Gamboa said stress and fatigue are no excuse for police officers to resort to abuse. 

"Sinabi ko nga sa mga kapulisan yesterday, hindi puwedeng maging rason na pagod tayo, napakainit, na makalimutan natin 'yung police operational procedures. Sinabihan ko din 'yung mga commanders to keep on reminding our policemen na sundin 'yung police operational procedures, and then 'yung rotation," he said.

Since March 15, police and military personnel have been enforcing lockdown policies throughout the Philippines to curb the fast-spreading COVID-19, which has infected nearly 8,500 and killed more than 500 people in the country. -- Report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News