The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) has issued a warning against barangay tanods who continue to possess unlicensed firearms; the long arm of the law will catch them.
CCPO Deputy Director for Administration, Supt. Artemio Ricabo, called on village watchmen to immediately surrender their unlicensed guns or face the full force of the law.
Ricabo’s warning came in the heels of a directive from the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame for a nationwide crackdown of barangay tanods who possess loose firearms.
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa had issued the order, Tuesday, after a bungled police operation last December 28 in Mandaluyong City which killed two persons and injured two others when the vehicle the victims were riding in was fired upon by tanods and responding policemen.
Dela Rosa said that while tanods are considered force multipliers, they are still not allowed to flaunt their firearms even if they have licenses to own and posses them.
Only tanods with permit to carry firearms outside of residence (PTCFOR) would be spared from arrest, said the police chief in ordering the arrest and the disarming of barangay tanods with unlicensed firearms nationwide.
On the part of CCPO, Ricabo said that tanods in Cebu City who want to apply for a gun license must surrender first their firearm at the police regional office and comply with all the requirements for licensing.
Cebu City is composed of 80 villages with at least 21 barangay tanods assigned in each.
Ricabo also directed all police station commanders to conduct refresher courses on police rules of engagement and operational procedures following the deadly shooting incident in Mandaluyong City.
In a case of mistaken identity, barangay tanods in Mandaluyong fired at a vehicle which contained a shooting victim thinking that the people inside were shooting suspects.
Responding policemen also jumped into the scene and fired at the victims.