The series of distribution of shotguns concluded on a high note last Friday (September 19, 2008) at the Pangasinan PNP Target Range with about 99 percent of the total number of barangay chairpersons received their long arms intended to maintain peace and order in their respective communities.
Gov. Amado T. Espino, who just arrived few days ago from official travel from the United States, led the culminating activity of Pump Shotgun Markmanship and Familiarization Training, together with First District Representative Arthur Celeste, Board Members Tyrone Agabas, Von Mark Mendoza, Liberato Villegas, Jeremy Rosario, Amadeo Espino, Raul Sison, and Mayors Jonas Castaneda (Lingayen), Ernesto Acain (Labrador), and Domingo Doctor (Burgos).
The last batch of recipients came from the towns of Alaminos, Sual and Bani.
Gov. Espino said that it took them more than a year to study the shotgun program before it was implemented.
“Pwede naman natin bilhin agad yan dahil nag-set aside na kami ng budget na P30M, pero sa akin tinimbang muna namin yan, pinag-aralan at dumaan sa maraming consultations,” Gov. Espino said.
In his remarks, First District Cong. Arthur Celeste pointed out that the shotguns given to the barangay captains should be handled with great responsibility. He urged them to use it only to maintain peace and order in their area.
For his part, Board Member Agabas said that the barangay captains in his district were very happy to receive their shotguns which will serve as their shield against the intruders at night.
“Masaya ako ngayong araw na ito because this is a realization of so many dreams of the commitment na masasabi kong partly undertook during the election in the 6th District when we were campaigning together with the good Governor,” said 6th District Board Member Tyrone Agabas during the Pump Shotgun Markmanship, Familiarization Training and Turn-over Ceremony held at Pangansinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) on September 19, 2008.
“What is being armed here is not specifically the punong barangay. What is being armed here is peace and security. How can we effectively uplift economic lives of our people if there’s no sense of security. That is the number one primordial agenda of the Governor, “ BM Agabas stressed.
Gov. Espino also said that after the shotgun, he will also equip every barangay with communication radios.
“Kung papayag ulit ang mga board members natin at kung may pondo tayo, ang susunod na kasama diyan ay mga radio para sa lahat ng barangays,” Gov. Espino announced.
“Ang purpose niyan ay magtu-tulungan kayong mga barangay at matutulungan kayo agad ng mga kapulisan natin. Pati mga ambulansiya at ospital natin matawagan niyo sila para kunin ang mga pasyente sa barangay niyo,” the Governor explained.
In the meantime, Mayor Doctor also expressed his support to the shotgun program. He belied reports that he was against shotgun distribution. “My statements were taken out of context by the media,” he told the governor. (PIO/Ninia F. Nicolas)