Should traffic enforcers start carrying firearms?

Who will be at greater risk?
Sep 9, 2011

A proposal to arm select personnel of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) was raised following a shooting incident that wounded a traffic enforcer on September 7.

Reports said MMDA traffic enforcer Larry Fiala was shot by motorist Edward John Gonzalez, who was flagged down by the victim for violating the number-coding scheme. Gonzalez allegedly hit Fiala in the face before speeding off but the enforcer was able to catch up with the motorist near Connecticut Street in Edsa, where an argument ensued.

"A witness related that Gonzalez, at the height of the argument, went back inside his vehicle and emerged with a gun, shooting the hapless traffic enforcer repeatedly at close range," the MMDA said. "He walked back to his vehicle casually and drove away."

Fiala is currently recovering from five gunshot wounds while the MMDA is bent on filing criminal charges against Gonzalez.

To prevent similar incidents in the future, the MMDA will start implementing a buddy system where traffic enforcers will be in teams of two when dealing with erring motorists, ABS-CBN reported. MMDA enforcers will also be taught self-defense.

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Another option MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino is reportedly looking at to keep enforcers safe is to issue firearms to select members of the agency—a move that was earlier suggested by former MMDA chief Bayani Fernando.

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"He (Tolentino) wants to revisit 'yung pag aarmas ng chosen few if possible because of our mandate on public safety," said MMDA spokesperson Tina Velasco.

This issue is obviously ripe for a debate. What's your opinion on the matter?

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