Police in Region 12 want bigger weapons

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/03 October) — Police authorities in Region 12 are pushing for the purchase of crew-served weapons and ammunition for its mobile or public safety companies.

Chief Supt. Alex Paul Monteagudo, Region 12 police director, said the region’s mobile companies need more crew-served weapons to enhance their capabilities in addressing any major threat and disturbance that may occur within their areas of responsibility or operations.

“We have requested the (Philippine National Police) central office to augment our budget for 2013 to facilitate the purchase of these weapons,” he said.

Crew-served weapons refer to ground-based weapons that were designed to be operated by multiple personnel to function at optimum efficiency, according to an online weapons reference site.

It said such type of weapons, many of which could be mounted on wheeled or tracked vehicles, are used as infantry support weapons.

They include medium machine guns, heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, mortars with calibers less than 120 mm (4.72 inches), anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns, recoilless rifles, shoulder-launched missile weapons, among others.

Monteagudo did not name the specific weapons that they plan to acquire as they would depend on the budget and further discussions with the PNP leadership.

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 maintains a battalion-size public safety unit at the regional headquarters in Barangay Tambler here as well as public safety and maneuver companies in the region’s four provinces and five cities.

Local police stations have also activated public safety units as part of their mandated operational functions.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato.

In support of the move, the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12 passed a resolution endorsing the regional police’s request for additional budget.

It issued the endorsement based on a recommendation from the RDC’s macro economy, development administration and finance committee.

The council noted that such request is in line with the PNP’s mandate to enforce the law, prevent and control crimes, maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security with the active support of the community.

City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, RDC-12 chair, said the leadership of PRO-12 essentially made the request “to strengthen the police stations and mobile companies in Region 12 with the end goal of enhancing the quality of police services and relationship with the community to attain a safer place to live, work, and do business.”

“To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of PRO 12 mobile companies, there is a need to provide them adequate crew-served weapons and ammunitions,” Custodio said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)