By Addison Pascua

PHOTO: Metro Headlines

Following a barangay tanod fatal shooting of a scavenger in Tondo, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reiterated on Monday that barangay tanods and other members of police auxiliary units are not allowed to carry firearms while on duty under the country’s laws.

This reminder came after a barangay tanod in Tondo, Manila was caught on CCTV shooting a man for violating curfew amid the implementation of enhanced community quarantine. The victim, who was reportedly suffering from a mental illness, approached the suspect with a stick forcing the barangay tanod to shoot him in the chest.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año cited Republic Act No. 10591 or “The Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act” in 2012 which revoked the authority of members of police auxiliary units including barangay tanods to carry firearms.

“While we acknowledge that barangay tanods play a complementary role to local authorities in the maintenance of the peace of order in their respective communities, we firmly reiterate that they are not authorized to carry any firearm in the performance of their duties even if they won these firearms,” Año said.

He emphasized that registered firearms of local government units can only be issued to government officials or employees with permanent plantilla positions.

“Since the barangay tanod position is not part of the plantilla, barangay tanods are, therefore, not authorized to bear firearms while on duty,” Año accentuated.

Under DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2003-42, barangay tanods may only use the following on duty: nightstick with teargas with belt and holster, handcuff with holster, whistle, flashlight, raincoat, rain boots, small notebooks, ballpens, and first-aid kits.

In light of the recent fatal incident, Año directed all local chief executives to order their respective barangay tanods not to carry any firearm while in the performance of their duties as he warned that charges will be filed if it’s not imposed properly.

“Hindi sana humantong sa pamamaril at pagkamatay ng curfew violator kung hindi armado ang tanod at kung kumilos siya nang naaayon lamang sa katungkulan niya,” the secretary stated.

According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is already investigating the incident and is set to file murder charges against the erring barangay tanod who was identified as Cesar Panlaqui, a barangay tanod of Barangay 156 in Tondo, Manila. 

Report source: ABS-CBN News