/ 9 December 2021

THE PHILIPPINE National Police is investigating the accidental firing incident at a school that wounded a police instructor and a trainee.

PNP chief General Dionardo Carlos sought a review of the policy on weapons training to prevent similar incidents in police training courses involving live fire exercises.

“If accidents like this can happen in training even under controlled conditions, it is likely to happen anytime during the course of normal police functions involving firearms and live ammunition,” he said.

Carlos stressed that “the firearm is a standard police equipment that must be handled only by properly trained personnel with updated training certification on firearms proficiency and safety.”

Initial reports said that the incident happened at 3:30 p.m. on December 7 at the Regional Training Center-1 in Barangay Poblacion, Aringay, La Union while Police Corporal Benie Dupayat was holding a lecture on Basic Parts of Firearms and Gun Safety Rules to police trainees of Bravo Company of “Mahigmayan” class.

Dupayat was demonstrating the functions of a cal.45 pistol when the gun malfunctioned and fired. The bullet went through the palm of Dupayat and hit a trainee, Patrolman John Conrad Villanueva, 23.

“We remind our instructors to ensure safety at all times, in this case, foremost, no loaded firearms and live ammunition inside the classroom even for training purposes,” the PNP chief said.