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Allowing civilian groups to carry arms risky, open to abuse — Robredo

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Allowing civilian groups to carry arms risky, open to abuse â Robredo
In this Feb. 26, 2019 photo, Vice President Leni Robredo talks during the Ka Pepe Diokno Human rights award at De La Salle University in Manila.
The STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday warned against the possibility of allowing civilian organizations to carry arms, saying it would be too risky and only increase chances of abuse. 

The proposal came from President Rodrigo Duterte when he spoke at an event by the Philippine National Police on June 25. 

In her weekly radio show, Robredo reminded of the many instances in the past where the privilege of carrying arms was abused.

"Bearing arms is a huge responsibility," she said partially in Filipino over dzXL. "This also carries a big accountability..we have a lot of problems that could be resolved without the need for arms. We should learn from the past."

There had been a series of documented cases of shootings by cops alone since 2020. That has led to calls for reform within the police force, but Palace has continued to insist that those involved are only cases of "bad apples."

Robredo sought to draw a comparison between other countries and the Philippines. In the rest of the world, she said gun control measures are being tackled, while the discussion at home is on increasing the number of those who could carry arms.

"Many of our problems have solutions that are not punitive," the country's No. 2 said. "This is not the kind of leadership and governance that we believe in."

In a statement on Sunday, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar denied that Duterte was encouraging vigilantism in his remarks. He said the president's suggestion was for ensuring cops' protection.

He sought to assure that civilians will undergo rules and procedures, but that has yet to be tested as cases of policemen involved in shooting innocent individuals continue to date. 

LENI ROBREDO PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE RODRIGO DUTERTE
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