The PNP wants to know by April 17 what firearm the journalists will be using: “either 9 mm or .45 pistol” so that “we can prepare the necessary requirements like the number of ammunition and the type of firearms/s to be used.”
“You can bring your own firearm (licensed), if there is any, or you can use the firearms that we will be providing,” said Police Supt. Querubin Manalang, Jr., chief of the Regional Police Information Office.
Manalang said the Police Regional Office 11 is conducting the training ”relative to the security and preventive measures for media personalities,” following the directive of President Arroyo and the verbal instruction of Philippine National Police Director-General Jesus A. Verzosa, to “conduct training and seminar relative to the security and preventive measures for media personalities.”
“No fees are required,” said the invitation letter dated April 13. The two-day training was later reduced to only one day, on April 25 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The training will be held at the Police Regional Office in Camp Catitipan.
But Cheryll Fiel, one of the directors of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Davao City chapter, said arming journalists is definitely not an answer to the problem on the spate of killings of journalists.
Fiel said that instead of training journalists on how to fire weapons, the police should endeavor to solve the media killings to deter criminals from claiming yet another life. (MindaNews)