Cops should always carry their guns, even when off-duty, says PNP chief

MANILA, Philippines – Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa has a new strategy to prevent street crimes – encourage police officers to bring their firearms even when they are off-duty.

Dela Rosa said during an interview at Camp Karingal that even when they are in civilian clothing, police officers should bring their weapons and always be prepared to stop a crime.  

It is lawful for members of the police force to bring their guns as long as these are concealed. "Pulis naman sila 24/7. Wag lang silang magdisplay ng baril at manutok. Violation yan. Pero kung magdala lang sila at concealed na pagcarry, hindi na kailangan PTCFOR kasi issued firearm yan. Mission Order lang at MR, yan ang papel na dala mo pag magdala ka ng baril."

(They are police officers 24/7. As long as they do not display in pulic their guns or point the gun at people, which is a violation. But if they will conceal and carry their sidearms, they do not need a Permit To Carry Firearm Outside of Residence because these are issued firearms. A Mission Order is enough for you to bring your firearms.)

Dela Rosa recalled there have been incidences when an off-duty policemen prevented a crime. "Lahat ng accomplishment ng pulis pertaining sa mga holdapan sa bus at jeepney, laging nakafoil. Off duty na pulis at may dalang baril," he said. 

(All the accomplishments of policemen stopping a robbery inside a jeepney , were foild by off-duty cops carrying their guns.)

He said the possibility of the presence of cops in civilians with guns will surely deter crime. (READ: Cop who stopped bus robbers gets promotion)

"Bakit di natin gawing uniform practice yan sa lahat? Magdala ng baril para matakot ang mga holdaper, marami palang pulis ngayon na nakacivilian, wag tayong mangholdap," Dela Rosa said.

(Why don't we use this practive all over? Cop will carry guns always tro scare robbers.)

Dela Rosa added though that this plan could not be implemented during an election period gun ban. "Nobody is above the law, the Omnibus Election Code says only policemen in uniform may carry guns." 

But because the election gun ban is still not enforced, Dela Rosa said, "I encourage them to bring their firearms para makapagreact sila pag kinakailangan (so they can react when the need arises)." – Rappler.com