MIAA arms security personnel with rifles, shotguns

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A passenger exits NAIA as a security personnel is standing guard.

THE Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) deployed private security guards armed with rifles and shotguns at the four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to augment the Philippine National Police – Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGROUP) , whose many newly-recruited personnel  remain “gunless.”

MIAA General Manager Ed Moreal said Lanting and Advance Security providers should be made highly-visible as a deterrence  against  crimes in the four NAIA terminals.

“The airport is not under any threat, but the sight of armed security men is good for the passenger’s peace of mind,” Monreal said.

The MIAA required security firms to arm their security personnel with high-powered firearms following the attack in Marawi last May 23 and the deadly attack in Resorts World by Jessie Javier Carlos last June 2, which killed 38 persons including the gunman himself.

During the incident, the NAIA went on a lockdown and has since implemented tighter security after the Resorts World incident and the Marawi conflict.

The security personnel were armed with high-powered firearms after it was reported that about 200 policemen of the AVSEGROUP are facing the dilemma of being “gunless” policemen.

The presence of armed security personnel in four NAIA terminals were also augmented with bomb-sniffing dogs to makes the local and foreign travelers feel safe and secure, said Monreal.

Although gunless, the policemen, who asked not to be named, said they put their lives on the line, “to serve and protect the community particularly local and foreign travelers.”

The policemen said they were in a vulnerable position,  and unable to defend themselves against armed attacks by an individual or criminal groups.

Several policemen also stuff their empty holsters with a towel to bluff their potential attacker.

Presently, the PNP has a shortage of guns and according to the 2015 COA report, out of 147,041 actual PNP uniformed personnel assigned to various offices, units, and regions, only 124,738 have been issued side firearms.

Some 623 PNP officers were using donated handguns while 3,654 officers firearms could not be accounted for or have no record of having been issued service firearms.

The PNP stands in violation of a 1993 National Police Commission  order for failure to comply with a “one-gun-one-police ratio.”

It was revealed that the budget for gun procurement to acquire 12, 268 units of caliber 9-millimeter pistols were diverted and used to purchase police patrol jeeps, Crime Data Processing System and an Automated Fingerprint Identification System by the previous administration.

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