Members of the media in Palawan engaged in a gun safety lecture and fellowship fun shoot Saturday with officers and military personnel of the various armed forces units under the operational direction of the Western Command (WESCOM) led by Vice Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez.
The event, according to Enriquez, aims to foster positive relationships between members of the WESCOM Defense Press Corps (WDPC) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the province.
He also said that knowing how to correctly use firearms is crucial for safety reasons, given that the Philippines is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.
“What we are trying to spouse is a good relationship with our colleagues in the media kung ano man ang ginagawa namin dito sa WESCOM,” he said.
“Ang paalala ko ay we have to ensure safety in handling firearms. Paulit-ulit tayo sa safety dahil ayaw natin na magkaroon ng aksidente,” Enriquez added.
A total of 28 members of the WDPC and uniformed personnel from WESCOM, the 3rd Marine Brigade, and Tactical Operations Wing West took part in the activity.
MSgt. Rhoel Graganza reminded members of the WDPC, led by the organization’s president, Romeo Luzares, that the first rule in gun safety is to “always regard the gun as loaded.”
“All guns are considered loaded dahil kapag iniisip natin na loaded ito ay i-check natin ang condition ng baril,” Graganza said.
He said that this means never messing around or playing with weapons since they can quickly damage or kill you and people around you if they are not handled or used properly.
There were three activities to the fellowship fun shoot: gun familiarization, individual category, and team versus team category for pistol speed.
In the speed shoot media category, Seved Borda of Palawan Daily won, followed by Dennis Peneyra of Radio Pilipinas and Junfred Calamba of DYSP Super Radyo.
In the speed shoot military category, 3MBde commander Col. Jimmy Larida took first place, followed by Cpt. Elaine Collado.
The winner of the Team vs Team category was Team 2, which consists of seven members, including Col. Larida.
Luzares expressed gratitude to WESCOM for sponsoring another fellowship activity aimed at further solidifying the friendship between defense corps members and the AFP in Palawan.
“Maraming salamat sa pamunuan ng WESCOM sa pagbigay ninyo ng opportunity sa amin ng mga kasamahan ko sa media. Nakaraang taon ay mayroon ding ganito at sana ay marami pa tayong fellowship na pagsasamahan,” Luzares said.