Tanods to be guards vs blackout crimes

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

DAVAO CITY Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the barangay tanods (village watchmen) who have yet to undergo training as police auxiliary, will serve as guards against crime especially when power is out at night because of rotational blackouts.

"This will be a permanent measure...maybe in my administration until 2016. I had thought of this already not only because there is a rotational brownout. We need to take extra measures immediately," Duterte said on Sunday.

The Davao City Police Office said the crime incidents have increased by almost 45 percent in the first quarter of 2014 as compared to the same period last year due to rotational brownouts that started in February.


Duterte said there is a need to reinforce the tanods, at least five representatives from each barangay here, so as to assist the policemen in curbing crimes. He added that the tanods will have to conduct a regular foot patrol and other security measures in their area of responsibility.

"Ang makabantay lang man jud sa usa ka barangay kay sila. Ang tanod lang nato dili lang hinuon pro-active. Mu-response lang na kung nay musyagit ug tabang. Now, mag-response sila just like a police, though they are just auxiliary members of the police, but they have to be trained by the police," Duterte said.

Duterte said that whether the tanods would like it or not, it is time for them to level up and strengthen its security measures in their areas of responsibility.

He also said that it is their responsibility to defend their area, adding that they will be paid around P6,000 each per month.

The mayor said he is already waiting for the P5-million budget he earlier asked from the City Council for the police auxiliary and their training.

He said "as soon as the money made available to me by the City Council, I'll ask the [Davao City Police Office] director [Senior Supt. Vicente Danao] to initiate at least 15 days training."

Danao earlier said he is just awaiting the names of barangay tanods endorsed by their barangay captains to be trained as police auxiliary. He added that the watchmen will be thought of information gathering, basic safety and security measures, how to arrest criminals, and communication relations, among the other basic skills.

"[The tanods who will undergo training] must be physically fit. Buot pasabot kanang masakiton or na’y hubak, dilijud napwede. Kadtong mga nag apply para sundalo unya wa nadawat kay puno na pwede sila, they could be trained. Also a tanod must be a resident of their barangay (The sickly ones will not qualify. Those who applied in the military but were not accepted because there is no more vacancy will be considered)," Duterte said.

Duterte said he is also thinking of deploying the tanods back to their barangay with firearms so that they will become effective functionaries of the government. However, the mayor warned the police auxiliary not to be malevolent once they have a firearm.

"Kinahanglan jud na sila ug armas kay kinsa mang tanod muduol or musukol anang mga kawatan kung naa na sila mga dala-dala nga armas. Kini lang pud matagaan mo ug armas, dili lang pud maghinilas ug kung asa-asa ra gamiton ang baril (They will be armed because no tanod will face an armed criminal when he is not armed himself. But they are warned against abusing this)," he said.

Meanwhile, amid the rotational brownout in the city, Duterte urged the public to exercise vigilance and take precautionary measures especially when passing by in dark areas. He also ordered the members of the Davao City Police Office to intensify its foot and mobile patrols around the city.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 12, 2014.

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