MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Saturday said arming firemen needs further study following President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncement that they need to help police and military in maintaining law and order.
Lacson, a former police chief, said firemen could individually apply for a permit to carry a firearm.
"Hindi naman pwede 'yung hepe ng BFP maga-apply for everybody kasi maga-undergo sila ng psychiatric test, maga-undergo sila ng gun safety seminar, may written examination pa," he told radio DWIZ.
(The chief of the Bureau of Fire Protection could not apply for everybody because they need to undergo a psychiatric test, gun safety seminar, and written examination.)
"So walang problema kung maga-apply sila ng permit to carry at bibigyan sila. Wala akong nakikitang problema doon."
(There's no problem if they will apply for a permit to carry and they will be given it. I don't see any problem with that.)
Issuing firearms to the Bureau of Fire Protection, however, needs to be studied.
"Magkakaroon siguro ng question kung parang 'yung buong organization, wala kasi sila sa law enforcement hindi tulad ng police," he said.
(It would be questioned if the whole organization will be given firearms since they're not under the law enforcement, unlike the police.)
"Kung magkakaroon ng issued firearms 'yung firemen, hindi ko sigurado kung ‘yun eh naaayon sa umiiral na batas, dapat pag-aralan natin."
(If firemen will be issued firearms, I don't think that is under the law, it should be studied.)
President Duterte, in a speech Thursday, said firemen's duties are "not limited to just fire."
"You know, you have to help in the law and order. You are not limited to just fire. That’s a b******* idea. You have to go around and help the policeman and the military. Isang senyas lang naman kayo magkaalaman na kayo eh (One sign and you'll understand each other)," he said.
"But you must help. And you must help kill. Kill the enemy. Kasi ang enemy ninyo papatayin talaga kayo (The enemy will kill you)."