By LITO RULONA
A COUNCILOR has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider what he said was a plan to arm members of the ronda tanod of barangays.
Councilor Romeo Calizo said Duterte’s recent pronouncements about giving barangay-based peacekeepers the power to carry firearms should be thoroughly studied.
Calizo, chairman of the city council’s police committee, said arming the tanod members would not guarantee peace and order in the barangays, and allowing them to carry guns could even result in more trouble.
He pointed out that many of today’s barangay tanod members “are not professionals.” The practice, he said, is for the barangay chairpersons to appoint jobless people in their barangays, some of whom even have criminal records.
“Dili pa gyud angayan kay daghan tanod na lamambigit sa mga tinonto sa barangay,” Calizo said.
But Calizo said the barangay tanod can be very useful in gathering information about criminals in their respective barangays.
“They can only participate in intelligence gathering. Dili kay urada-urada gilayon nga sila armasan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Camp Alagar called on barangay chairpersons to be careful in appointing ronda tanod members.
Camp Alagar even suggested individuals who took up Reserve Officers Training Corps and Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary to be prioritized by the barangay officials.
Camp Alagar spokesman Supt. Lemuel Gonda claimed that as an auxiliary force by the local police and the military, it is high-time for the local barangay units to hire professional individuals and work regularly as barangays tanods.
Gonda said professionalizing barangay tanods should be given much attention considering that every community has been experiencing a rise in criminality lately.
Gonda added that barangay local government units should also hire individuals who have a college level education with at least 22 units, criminology graduates are preferred as they are “true force multiplier by the local police force.”
“Apan dili sila pwede ma-armasan hangtud nga ma-hire sila professionally,” Gonda said.