PNP: Gun permits open to priests
The PNP reported that it has received 246 requests for licenses from religious leaders.

PNP: Gun permits open to priests

Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2018 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — As long as they are qualified, the application for permits to possess guns is open to everybody, including priests and preachers, Philippine National Police (PNP) Civil Security Group (CSG) chief Senior Supt. William Señoron said.

Señoron, the former PNP provincial director of Negros Occidental, confirmed that there are priests who have either applied for a license to own and possess firearms or are renewing their licenses.

The PNP reported that it has received 246 requests for licenses from religious leaders.

Just like any other applicant, Señoron said, priests and religious leaders have to undergo the usual procedures in the acquisition of gun permits through the CSG’s Firearms and Explosives Office.

But Fr. Chris Gonzales, social action center director of the Diocese of Bacolod, maintained that priests should not be armed, adding that their sole weapon is prayer.

Gonzales vowed that the killings of three priests and the attempted murder of another since last December will not stop the clergy from exercising their function as the “conscience of society.”

So far, not a single priest has recently applied for a permit to carry firearm outside of residence in Western Visayas, said regional police Chief Supt. John Bulalacao.

Meanwhile, amid continued senseless deaths, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle yesterday asked that prayers be offered for priests and citizens who have been killed. 

Tagle requested that prayers be offered for those “whose lives have been taken by persons without conscience.”

He added that prayers should also be offered for government officials, for them to be conscious of the common good and work for the welfare and safety of Filipino citizens. 

“We pray for all the people in our beloved country – that we may all be courageous in our faith, steadfast in our belief and resolute in the face of evil threats. Lock the lips and restrain the arms of those who shatter peace and foment hatred that lead to violence,” the Cardinal added. 

The “Prayer for the Slain Priests and the Victims of Killings” was incorporated in the circular sent out by Archdiocese of Manila chancellor Fr. Reginald Malicdem to all parish priests, rectors, chaplains and superiors of religious communities under their archdiocese.  – With Evelyn Macairan, Gilbert Bayoran, Jennifer Rendon

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