Erring security agencies

August 24, 2019

DON’T look now, but there are still high-powered firearms, including automatic rifles like M-16 and AK-47, being used by security guards of some private security agencies in the country.

This, despite the fact that the original deadline for the surrender of all these guns owned by private security agencies was two years ago, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP-Civil Security Group (CSG) director B/Gen. Roberto B. Fajardo said he will cancel the registration of private security agencies that fail to immediately surrender these firearms.

It will be recalled that the PNP, which is civilian in nature but national in scope, issued a memorandum in 2017 banning all private security firms from owning high-powered guns.

The PNP issued the memorandum after being directed by President Duterte to effect the surrender of all high-powered firearms owned by private security and detective agencies.

Under the PNP memorandum, private security guards must be armed only with shotguns and handguns since they are not trained to handle high-powered firearms.

Police and military officials said that security guards have literally “donated” high-powered guns to the New People’s Army (NPA), which is the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

In most cases, police said civilian security guards, unlike security forces, would always think of their family and quickly surrender their weapons to NPA rebels without a fight.

What is significant here is that the PNP-CSG under Fajardo is out to hit hard at erring private security agencies.

In fact, he vowed to apply the highly-successful “Oplan: Tokhang” or “Knock and Plead” program on private security agencies to convince them to surrender their high-powered guns.

Certainly, Fajardo means well and is determined to fully implement President Duterte’s directive in 2017.