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Tanods urged: Surrender guns

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Police Office is urging all barangay tanods keeping loose firearms to surrender before they get arrested.

CCPO deputy director for administration Artemio Ricabo issued the call amid the directive from Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to all police units to arrest village watchmen carrying firearms without legal documents.

The order came in the wake of the botched police operation in Mandaluyong City involving tanods and some policemen.

Tanods were responding to a shooting incident in a construction site but ended up chasing and shooting the vehicle carrying the victim. Responding policemen from Mandaluyong also joined the prey.

Police admitted shooting the vehicle because they were fed with the wrong information.

Ricabo said while tanods are considered as force multipliers, still they are not allowed to carry firearms without securing the necessary permits.

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He assured that all station commanders in Cebu City are directed to keep a constant look at the tanods in their areas of responsibility. There are at least 1,680 tanods in the city.

Ricabo clarified that tanods are not frontliners in any anti-criminality operations. He said their participation is only limited to information gathering and witness. There were instances, however, that tanods are directly involved in operations and were even accused of shooting suspected criminals.

Last October a suspected criminal was shot dead by a tanod in Barangay Ermita for allegedly trying to escape while being transported to the police station. Ricabo, however, said the incident was isolated.

He said the station commanders were tasked to conduct trainings to tanods to refresh them of their role as force multipliers.

“They (station commanders) have to conduct tanod trainings, human rights, and refreshers on police operational procedures,”Ricabo said. (FREEMAN)

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