‘I do not need a private army’ – Sara

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio says she does not need hired guns.
“Dili na nako kinanglan ug private army,” she said during her weekly press conference yesterday, referring to loose talk that the Anti-Crime Unit (ACU) under the Public Safety Command Center (PSCC) is the mayor’s private army.
“Ang Davao City Police Office (DCPO) ako na tanan. Kung muingon ko nga ‘Ayaw mo ug lihok’ dili na sila mulihok. (The DCPO is under me. If I say ‘Do not move’ they will not move) But seriously, I do not need a private army,” she said.
The allegation came up after several ACU personnel were caught extorting money from motorists, specifically habal-habal drivers.
The mayor confirmed the incident Ftiday, adding that PSCC chief Magno Adalin had given his assurance that the erring personnel would be punished.
Police auxilliary
The mayor explained why the ACU was created, saying this stemmed from the DCPO’s lack of personnel.
“Years ago the request came from the police. The need for force multipliers came from the DCPO kay kulang daw si–la ug tao,” she said, recalling that several years ago there was an appeal from the DCPO requesting the city government to finance additional personnel, however once installed the additional personnel were utilized for other functions as drivers, kargadors, tig-limpyo. Nahimo silang ‘tig’ which was not the original intention,” she said.
Following this discovery, Duterte-Carpio said she told the police she would finance an additional force under the city government’s control thus the ACU was created.
The ACU received crime-fighting training from the police but is recognized as a unit under the PSCC.
Unarmed bodyguards
Duterte-Carpio last week disclosed that her own bodyguards did not carry firearms in comsonance with the city-declared gun ban from March 1 to 31. But the military and police 
Protested, calling the move “unwise”,causing her to reverse her decision.
“They told me they felt uncomfortable with the idea and helpless if my own security personnel do not carry firearms because the enemy presumably carries firearms. So I said okay.”
The mayor’s security detail is composed of six personnel from Task Force Davao and four from the DCPO.
No exemption
When the mayor consulted Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 director Gen. Jaime Morente, the latter said the gun ban imposed here “does not provide exemptions.”
“It turns out na wala daw naka-provide nga naay exception. Only those in uniform are allowed to carry firearms within the city,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The solution was for her security personnel to be in wear uniform.
“Gisultian nako sila, sige mag-uniform na mo. So karon naka-uniform sila tanan pag nag-trabaho sila,” she said.
Firearms surrendered
DCPO director Sr. Supt Ronald dela Rosa said several politicians have obliged to surrender their escorts’ firearms once entering the city.
It should be noted that the city is second home to many politicoians and personalities hailing from neighboring towns and provinces.
“Naa nay mga persons of position nga ni-surrender sa mga baril sa ilang mga tao sa mga checkpoint area. The firearms are with the Task Force Davao,” dela Rosa said in an interview Friday at Philippine Women’s College as he escorted PNP chief Dir. Gen. Nicanor Bartolome.
Asked whether there have been instances where the armed party refused to surrender their fire-arms, dela Rosa said none.
Duterte-Carpio expressed her appreciation to politicians with residences here who follows the city’s gun ban declaration.
Gun ban implementation a test
The mayor revealed that the implementation of a gun ban during the Araw ng Davao celebration is a test.
As the gun ban during a festival had not been done before, a comparative analysis will be made whether declaring a gun ban during the celebration this year lessened the volume of crime, the mayor said.
“We’ll compare the crime rate between the first quarter last year and this year, as well as for the month of march last year and this year where whereas last year there was no gun ban during the celebration and now that there is a gun ban,” she said.
“Hopefully it will be a positive endeavor for the city. (That) it will be worthwhile doing it again,” she added.
PNP supports declaration
Meanwhile, PNP Dir. Gen. Nicanor Bartolome said the mayor made the right decision by declaring a month-long gun ban here.
In an interview Friday, Bartolome said implementing a gun ban during “such a big event” would be best for the city.
“Yes, it is for the best. In fact the PNP supports decisions such as this. We approved the same requests during the celebrations of Sinulog, Ati-atihan, and yung Panagbenga. The same ang ginawa natin,” Bartolome said at the Philippine Women’s College.
The PNP chief said during events that would suddenly raise the density of people and concentrate thousands of people in one area, the city executive has the right to order a gun ban within the locality.
“Yes it is necessary. While marami ang tao, it would also give people a peace of mind,” he said. [Jade C. Zaldivar]