• The incoming PNP Chief said the proposal to arm barangay tanods is a very dangerous proposal
  • Chief Supt. Ronald Dela Rosa said it is prone to abuse
  • Armed tanods might just become the private army of the village head, he said

Incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief C/Supt. Ronald Dela Rosa said arming barangay tanods [village watchmen] with firearms to go after criminals is a “dangerous proposal.”

Asked for his reaction to a proposal to arm barangay tanods and volunteer civilians with firearms to help lawmen from going after drug syndicates and other criminal groups, Dela Rosa said the proposal is prone to abuse.

“Prone to abuse. Magiging private army ng mga kapitan iyan [They might become the private army of the barangay captain],” Dela Rosa told radio dzBB.

Dela Rosa said he prefers to provide watchmen with non-lethal weapons, including “batuta” [truncheons].

The incoming PNP top cop said he prefers quality over quantity in the all-out war against criminality.

“Ako I’m not after quantity, I’m after quality,” Dela Rosa said, referring to the proposed recruitment of civilian volunteers as force multiplier against crime.

“Kahit kaunti lang ang pulis, okay lang basta’s ginagawa nila ang kanilang trabaho,” he added.

[Even if policemen are few, that’s okay, as long as they are doing their jobs]

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who won the presidential elections on the strength of his anti-crime, anti-illegal-drugs and anti-corruption campaign platforms, said he planned to arm barangay tanods and deputized civilians as volunteers in the fight against crime.

He said to stop illegal drugs, the anti-illegal drugs campaign must start at the barangay level.

“This will help to stem the onrushing tide of drugs. Of course they will be armed. I am not deputizing them para mamatay lang sila [just to die]. There is no point in asking them and risking their lives (without giving something to defend themselves). What will a truncheon do for them? Would it make any difference if bad guy has a .45 ?” Duterte was quoted by Politiko as saying.