The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday said government prosecutors should carry firearms so that they could defend themselves from attackers.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra stressed the need to provide firearms for government lawyers amid the rash of attacks against prosecutors.
“Yes, I will support prosecutors getting firearm for self-defense. I wish we could (get them) bullet-proof vehicles to boot but we have to live within our means, and just do our job well,” Guevarra said.
“I wish we had budget for body armor, for now we can only wear the breastplate of righteousness and the full armor of God,” he added.
Guevarra made the statement a week after Quezon City Deputy Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco was shot dead.
The Justice chief ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the killing of Velasco, whose car was peppered with bullets by unidentified men.
Guevarra said that despite the “murderous act,” prosecutors remain unfazed in performing their duties.
Velasco was the latest prosecutor killed under the Duterte administration.
In September 2017, Quezon Province Assistant Prosecutor Reymund Luna was ambushed and killed on his way home after attending a court hearing.
Also on July 18, 2017, Rizal Provincial Prosecutor Maria Ronatay was gunned down while driving on Ortigas Avenue Extension in Taytay, Rizal.
Caloocan Assistant State Prosecutor Diosdado Azarcon was killed in front on his house on May 22, 2017, while Assistant Quezon City Prosecutor Noel Mingoa was ambushed on January 11, 2017 and Mati City Prosecutor Rolando Acido in October 2017.
Surigao City Prosecutor Manuel Tesiorna Jr., was ambushed in Canlanipa Homes, Surigao City on February 6. He survived.