Duterte backs arming prosecutors

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star
Duterte backs arming prosecutors
President Duterte advised prosecutors to carry a Glock 19 or a 9mm pistol instead of a .45-caliber handgun.

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is in favor of arming prosecutors to protect them from possible harm.

He advised prosecutors to carry a Glock 19 or a 9mm pistol instead of a .45-caliber handgun.

 “Huwag kayo kumuha ng .45-caliber handgun. It’s too heavy. Go for the Glock 19 because it does not jam and maintenance-free. I’m not advertising the Glock, but it’s a fact. That’s why we bought it for our policemen,” Duterte said during the annual convention of the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Thursday.

A gun aficionado, the President said he is open to the recommendation to arm prosecutors.

Duterte said he understands the concern of prosecutors, given the security threats they face in their line of work.

Eight prosecutors have been killed in the country since August 2016.

“The killings of prosecutors across the country have highlighted the dangers that the prosecutors and their families endure. Rest assured that our law enforcement agencies are expediting investigation of these murders,” Duterte said.

Duterte said he understands “the important role that you play in the administration of justice, which involves antagonizing lawless elements, hardened criminals and their powerful backers.”

The President said he investigated police and military officers as well as rebel leaders when he was still a prosecutor.

Duterte, however, warned prosecutors – perhaps in jest – against using their firearms to defend themselves when caught in illicit affairs.

He said he is ready to hear out the prosecutors’ needs and concerns.

“I encourage the leadership of the Prosecutors’ League to work with the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation and other relevant agencies to come up with solutions on how to better protect prosecutors and their families,” he said.

Duterte urged prosecutors to support the efforts of his administration in instituting the necessary reforms at the Department of Justice and National Prosecution Service, “so that we may regain the people’s trust and confidence in the justice system.”

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