MANILA, Philippines — After honing their skills in practical shooting for purposes of self-defense, the country’s judges and prosecutors are now being trained on security protection driving to evade ambuscades while cruising on the road.
This was disclosed on Saturday by Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Leila de Lima as she reiterated her support for proposals to allow members of the judiciary to own and carry guns for personal protection.
During the opening of the PLP Invitational Shootfest at the firing range of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), De Lima disclosed that regional seminars on security protection driving are now under way to train judges and prosecutors assigned to handle cases in remote areas to escape ambush attempts.
More popularly known as the VIP Security Driving Program, the training module was designed to allow the driver of a vehicle to execute an emergency hand-brake turn for a quick 180-degree turn in case of an ambush attempt.
The module also involves the conduct of training on driving with a flat tire after a tire is shot without losing control of the steering wheel.
Conducted by security experts, the security protection driving measures have evolved as regular courses in elite forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who provide security to government officials and other prominent personalities.
“It is a situation that I always find attenable, and you have my utmost support in your efforts to find ways to empower our prosecutors in fighting these threats,” De Lima said in her opening remarks.
De Lima expressed dismay on the increasing number of violent incidents involving members of the judiciary, particularly on the recent killing of Provincial Prosecutor Macadatar Masangka and the failed abduction of Prosecutor Irene Meso of Cagayan de Oro City.
De Lima was joined by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula, Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Marilou Tamang, and PLP President Chief Prosecutor Jonathan Lledo.
As a gesture of her full support on proposals to arm the country’s judges and prosecutors, De Lima has become a gun enthusiast to relax herself from work stress, aside from the primary purpose of self-defense.