Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed that hundreds of Catholic Priests asked them for a permit so they can carry firearms to protect themselves from potential assassins amid the killings of several priests in the past six months.
PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde in a press conference announced that they received 246 permits to carry firearms request from 188 priests while the other 58 are ministers, preachers, and pastors.
However, they’re not yet sure if this requests from the priests are connected to the murder of Father Richmond Nilo of Nueva Ecija.
He then urged the priests again to report threats to them and coordinate with the authorities to prevent another crime to happen.
Albayalde explained that priests can own two firearms depending on the category that they applying.
Automatic rifles and so-called long firearms are not covered by the permits.
However, Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) public affairs committee member Father Jerome Secillano believes that arming priests would be inappropriate because it might contradict their teachings.
“It was very clear, arming guns for a priest, well it’s unbecoming, it’s inappropriate.” Father Secillano said during an interview with ANC.
“We preach against violence, we are against the culture of death, we are against impunity and if we arm ourselves that do we expect us to do? If I see somebody who’s suspicious looking what do we expect me to do? So I pull the trigger outright because he’s suspicious looking? So what it does make to me? I’m also the killer,”
“Eh ayaw nga namin ng violence, ayaw namin ng impunity, ayaw namin ng culture of death so there’s a contradiction,”
He also rejects the suggestion of giving bulletproof vest and helmets to some priests.
However, he believes that the better thing to do is to ask PNP for security detail.
WATCH: "It is unbecoming, it is inappropriate" Fr. Jerome Secillano of the CBCP public affairs committee gives his thoughts on the suggestion of arming priests. #BeyondPolitics #ANCRecap pic.twitter.com/nrPz6bgcGl
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) June 19, 2018