DoJ chief welcomes police offer to help provide guns to prosecutors

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JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra — PCOO.GOV.PH

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Friday welcomed the news that Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar G. Albayalde wished to help arm state prosecutors following the murder of Office of the Ombudsman assistant special prosecutor Madonna Joy Ednaco-Tanyag’s last Monday.

“That’s welcome news,” Mr. Guevarra told reporters. “In fact, we have coordinated with the PNP firearms and explosives office to hold one-stop caravans (in the) DoJ (Department of Justice) and regional prosecution offices in order to expedite the issuance of firearm permits, as well as to conduct fireams handling and training.”

When asked if the DoJ would consider shouldering the funding for the weapons, Mr. Guevarra said in a mix of Filipino and English, “I’ll see if it’s included in the current appropriations. If not, I’ll request for it in the next budget.”

Ms. Ednaco-Tanyag was 5-months pregnant when she was stabbed to death in front of a lottery station. According to the Ombudsman, she handled high-profile cases as a prosecutor.

Her suspected killer was apprehended by authorities on Tuesday, June 5.

The attack against prosecutors like Ms. Ednaco-Tanyag is the fourth this year, starting with the murder of Quezon City Prosecutor Rogelio A. Velasco by motorcycle-riding assailants last May 11.

In response to the death of Mr. Velasco, Mr. Guevarra showed his support for the initiative to provide weapons and protection to prosecutors. — Dane Angelo M. Enerio