With policemen taking the flak for wrongly implementing the government’s drive against ‘Tambay’, ‘Tanods’ or barangay watchmen should do the job.
This according to Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo, Chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development.
“Why not? Barangay tanods are well trained to deal against vagrancy and they fully know the terrain of the community as well as its people. They can probably do the job right,” said Castelo.
The administration stalwart explained that barangay watchmen perform almost the same function in enforcing peace and order as that of policemen, except that they are armed with sticks instead of guns.
“Public reaction to Oplan Tambay could be less critical if it would be enforced by authorities that are less prone to commit abuse,” he said, adding that a barangay tanod is more diplomatic in dealing with violations.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) recently came under fire after its campaign against ‘tambay’, or those persons commiting minor offenses like vagrancy or not wearing a shirt, resulted in abuses.
An incident led to the death of Tisoy, the man arrested by Quezon City policmen for allegedly being loud in front of a sari-sari store in Novaliches. He was supposedly killed by inmates in a police facility where he was taken.
Another incident involved a man who was accosted by cops also from Quezon City for stepping in front of his house without a shirt. Though the victim was released, the incident, just like Tisoy’s, drew an uproar in social media which criticized the government for police abuses.
While there could be lapses in police work, Castelo said the threat of crime brought about by the lack of police presence in public places remain and should not be ignored to ensure peoples’ safety.
“There should be enforcers of the law in our communities and the barangay tanods are our best option in the absence of policemen,” he said.