The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said barangay tanods and other “police auxiliary units” were not allowed to carry firearms while on duty, following a fatal shooting in Tondo perpetrated by a barangay tanod.

“While we acknowledge that barangay tanods play a complementary role to local authorities in the maintenance of the peace of order in their respective communities, we firmly reiterate that they are not authorized to carry any firearm in the performance of their duties even if they own these firearms,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

Año made the statement after Cesar Panlaqui, a barangay tanod, shot dead Eduardo Geñoga, a 59-year-old curfew violator with mental illness on Aug. 7, the second day of the Metro Manila enhanced community quarantine.

Año said under Republic Act No. 10591 or The Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act enacted in 2012, police auxiliary units, including barangay tanods were not allowed to carry firearms.

The said republic act revoked the Circular 2008-013 of the National Police Commission, which had allowed police auxiliary units to carry firearms.

“Hindi sana humantong sa pamamaril at pagkamatay ng curfew violator kung hindi armado ang tanod at kung kumilos siya nang naaayon lamang sa katungkulan niya,” he said.

Under DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2003-42, barangay tanods may use nightsticks, teargas with belt and holster, handcuff with holster, whistle, flashlight, raincoat, rain boots, small notebooks and ballpens and first-aid kits while on duty.

The Commission on Human Rights has condemned the killing of Geñoga, saying the employment of force “would not eliminate the virus, but may instead further imperil and harm lives, which the quarantine rules are supposed to protect.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro