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To muzzle or not: PRO XI still waiting on directive from PNP

The Davao Police Regional Office has not received the directive from higher headquarters yet regarding the muzzling of firearms for the Christmas and New Year revelries.

However, Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, the PRO XI director, warned police officers against firing their guns during the holiday celebrations.

“We have not yet talk about it, but our policy on illegal discharge of firearms will be implemented,” he said. “This offense is considered as serious offense of administrative case.”

Unlike other regions in the country, the PRO XI is practicing “no muzzle of firearms” policy. The practice was started by former police regional director, and now senator, Ronaldo Dela Rosa.

Escobal said he will not hesitate to send any police officer to jail for indiscriminate firing. He recounted that when he was a station commander of the Davao City Police Office, he jailed offenders to serve as an example.

“I know it will serve as a warning to them (police officers),” he added.

For civilians, the act of indiscriminate firing is equivalent to alarm and scandal. Art. 155 of the Revised Penal Code imposes a penalty of 30-day jail time or a P200 fine. In 2017, the house committee on public order and safety tackled the proposed bills to increase the penal provisions of the law.

Meanwhile, ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Samuel Pagdilao, a retired police officer, wanted to reclassify the indiscriminate firing into illegal discharge of firearms, which carries jail time of between six years and 12 years.

Any police officer caught firing the gun will be terminated from service and face criminal charge.

“Our record here is usually zero injuries of firearm-related incidents due to illegal discharge of firearms,” he added.

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