LINGAYEN -- “These firearms are not for offense, these firearms are for defense, para sa proteksyon ya na barangay yo, aliwan usaren ya panaktak-takot,” thus declared Gov. Amado Espino, Jr. as he turned over 89 shotguns for use by barangay captains in Binmaley, Bugallon and Lingayen last Thursday in fitting rites at the headquartrers of the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office here.
In issuing the firearms bearing the official seal of the provincial government, the governor urged the barangay captains to be responsible and cautious as the use of the gadget is strictly for the maintenance of peace and order in their localities.
Gov. Espino assured that all the province’s 1,364 barangay captains will be issued similar firearms to help the PNP’s campaign against criminal elements as well as the proper enforcement of laws and ordinances.
He also vowed to equip the barangay officials with radio communication facilities for immediate and fast link up with the police authorities as well as hospitals on emergency cases.
The issuance of the firearms is part of the provincial government’s comprehensive community security program to make Pangasinan the “best place to invest, work, live and raise a family.”
Provincial police director, Sr. Supt. Isagani Nerez echoed the governor’s statement, saying “law enforcement, peace and order is not the only concern of the police force, it is everybody’s concern”.
Regular training on responsible gun handling and marksmanship, he said, will be conducted to ensure that safety measures on the use of ordnance will be observed and followed.
Board Member Amadeo T. Espino, president of Pangasinan Federation of Barangay Captains, on the other hand, reminded the barangay captains of their sworn duties and responsibilities in carrying out the mission to keep their respective areas of responsibilities (AORs) in tip-top shape insofar as peace and security is concerned.
Prior to the issuance of firearms, the PNP conducted the first seminar and familiarization training on the proper handling of the shotguns.
With the governor during the turnover rites were Board Members Von Mark Mendoza, Raul Sison, Amadeo Espino and Nikki “Boy” Reyes, Provincial Administrator Raffy Baraan, Lingayen Mayor Ernesto “Jonas” Castaneda, ABONO Partylist Chairman Rosendo So, Bugallon Mayor Ricardo Orduña, and executives of the provincial government. (PIO/Chona C. Bugayong)