Councils favor arming of village watchmen-A A +A
Thursday, March 21, 2013
THE Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) believed that arming of barangay police may help law enforcers to deter criminalities and maintain peace and order in Cagayan de Oro City’s villages.
Dometilo Acenas, ABC president, said that allowing barangay police force to have firearms while performing their tasks is also for their own protection against criminals elements.
“Dili lang baya sa gabii mahitabo ang krimen bisan sa buntag naay mahitabo, unya mag-unsa man ang batuta sa atong mga barangay police kontra sa pusil sa mga tulisan?” he told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro in an interview Tuesday.
Acenas also admitted that arming the barangay police is still subject to several conditions like undergoing rigid screening process and training program before they can have their firearms.
“Dapat mo-undergo gyud og neuro test sama sa police kay dili pud mahimo nga basta-basta lang hatagan og armas, mamusil pa lang hinuon,” he said.
As force multipliers, barangay police are more effective than the police since they know the people in their barangays and can easily identify those who have police records.
Earlier, Police Senior Inspector Lemuel Gonda, chief for Operations of Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) said that tapping the community in their campaign against criminality is a big help.
“The police cannot do it alone, we need the participation of the community,” he added.
But Acenas emphasized that barangay officials are also working within their level in preventing the occurrence of criminalities and maintaining the peace and order in each locality especially with the series of robbery in the city.
Acenas urged all barangays to be vigilant and to report immediately to the nearest police station the presence of suspicious personalities in their community or to inform the civilian volunteer organizations.
For his part, Barangay 23 chief Jaime Frias said that Acenas’ idea is still debatable believing that the national government may disagree on this.
Frias added that his barangay police are also active in maintaining peace and order in their barangay as they patrol every to prevent crime.
“Kabalo mi kinsa sa among barangay ang naay mga record and gina-monitor namo sila pero kung suspect sila sa crime outside sa among barangay then that’s beyond of our control ug dili pud maayo nga basta nalang namo sila itudlo kay that is also discriminating,” said Frias.
Benito Gulle, a barangay police at Barangay 22, favored in arming the barangay police on the condition that firearms and the processing of necessary documents would be shouldered by the government.
But Gulle disclosed that he and other barangay police are deputized as “police asset” to help the law enforcers to monitor the presence of suspicious persons in the barangay.
“Mas maayo pud nga hatagan og armas ang mga tanod aron makasukol naay ikasukol sa mga tulisan,” he told this paper.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 21, 2013.